One of the NHL's top rivalries will be brought to U.S. audiences live on the NHL Network on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals face off for the first time in the 2011-12 season at Consol Energy Center.
Both teams are off to fast starts -- Pittsburgh is 3-0-1 and leads the Atlantic Division, while Washington has won its first two games to place atop the Southeast -- and have developed a healthy dislike for one another while meeting in the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals and the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic among other high-profile matchups in recent seasons.
On this night, however, the teams will also come together for a good cause.
The Penguins and Capitals have planned a joint effort to raise money for the families of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the KHL team whose plane crashed Sept. 7 in Russia. Pens and Caps players will wear jerseys with commemorative Lokomotiv patches at the game, then autograph the game-worn and game-issued jerseys afterward and auction them off at NHL.com. All proceeds will benefit the Lokomotiv players' children and families.
Russian players Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins and Alexander Ovechkin of the Capitals are scheduled to participate in a ceremonial opening faceoff. The auction will begin at puck drop on Oct. 13 and run through Oct. 27 at NHL.com.