|Ovechkin & co. exult after a PP goal in the Winter Classic.|
The Penguins will be without both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for this afternoon's game. Crosby is still suffering from a concussion that he suffered while running in to Dave Steckel during the Winter Classic, while it was announced yesterday that Malkin will miss the rest of the season after tearing both the ACL and MCL in his right knee Friday night. Malkin suffered the injury during a collision with Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers. Not surprisingly, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma will roll with Marc-Andre Fleury in nets for his team, marking Flower's third start of the season against Washington.
For the Capitals, Semyon Varlamov is expected get the call from Bruce Boudreau for his fourth consecutive start in nets. Varly has only allowed five goals in his last three games, good for a 1.80 GAA and a .943 save percentage over that span, and the young Russian stopped 32 of 33 when he faced the Penguins in the Winter Classic. Alexander Semin will not play for the home side, although Bruce Boudreau did say that he would be back in the fold sometime next week. Semin's absence means that the top two lines will stay unchanged, but the third and fourth units might get shuffled a bit depending on whether DJ King gets a sweater from Bruce Boudreau. Tyler Sloan will remain a healthy scratch for the Capitals on the back end.
Puck drop for this one is 12:37-ish. Check back after the game.