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Inside the matchup: Penguins vs. Capitals

by John Kreiser /

The Pittsburgh Penguins make their first trip of the season to Verizon Center when they face the Washington Capitals in a Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

Each team is playing the second half of a back-to-back set coming out of the All-Star break. The Penguins defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 at Consol Energy Center, and the Capitals lost 4-3 on the road to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The injury-plagued Penguins got defenseman Kris Letang and top-six forward Patric Hornqvist back from injury on Tuesday; they hope captain Sidney Crosby will be sufficiently recovered from a lower-body injury to play after missing the All-Star Game and sitting out Tuesday. If Crosby can play, he'll renew his rivalry with Washington captain Alex Ovechkin, who has 10 of his 27 goals this month.

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