Wednesday's game, broadcast in high definition from Washington's Verizon Center at 7 p.m., ET, will pit superstar captains Sidney Crosby of the Penguins and Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals against each other for the first time since the men's hockey competition at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver last month. Crosby and Team Canada ousted Ovechkin and Team Russia 7-3 in the quarterfinals en route to the gold medal.
The pair also are locked in a duel for the Maurice Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL's goal-scoring champion. They are currently tied for the League-lead with 45 goals.
Reflecting the intense and growing interest surrounding each Capitals-Penguins match-up, NHL Network also will air a special one-hour pre-game show on Wednesday at 6 p.m., ET. Brian Duff, host of NHL Network's daily signature program On The Fly, will be joined by former NHL'ers and NHL On The Fly analysts Kevin Weekes and Dave Reid. The panel will provide an in-depth look at the multiple stars and storylines surrounding this compelling rivalry. On The Fly also will have its regular nightly post-game analysis and highlights from around the League.
The Capitals have won each of the clubs' two meetings this season, including a 5-4 overtime victory Feb. 7 at Washington that featured a hat trick by Ovechkin and a pair of goals from Crosby. The Capitals, who lead the NHL's overall standings with 106 points, are on pace to post the best record in franchise history and become the League's highest-scoring team since the Penguins in 1995-96. The Penguins, who lead the Atlantic Division and rank second to the Capitals in the Eastern Conference with 90 points, are aiming to be the first repeat winners of the Stanley Cup since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98.
This game is among the highlights of NHL Network's free preview week in the U.S., running March 20-27. With participating distributors of the free preview including Comcast, DIRECTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox and RCN Cable, NHL Network will be available in 60 million homes across the country. Fans are encouraged to check their local listings for details. This free preview is subject to participation by cable, satellite or Telco providers.
U.S. NHL Network Schedule – Highlights For Free Preview Week (March 20-27)
|Monday, March 22||The Battle of Comm Ave., 6 p.m.|
|Tuesday, March 23||HD Classic: Sid and Alex's Dueling Hat Tricks, 6 p.m.|
|Wednesday, March 24||On The Fly Penguins-Capitals Pregame Show, 6 p.m.|
|Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals (HD), 7 p.m.|
|Thursday, March 25||Off the Ice: Crosby, Ovechkin, Tavares, 6:30 p.m.|
|Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks (HD), 10:30 p.m.|
|Friday, March 26||50 Years Behind the Mask, 7 p.m.|
|Saturday, March 27||Hockey Night in Canada: New Jersey Devils at Montreal Canadiens (HD), 7 p.m.|