For the first time in exactly 11 months, Sidney Crosby
and Alex Ovechkin
will be on the ice together Thursday night.
Crosby will play for the sixth time since returning from a concussion that cost him more than 10 months of action when he leads the Pittsburgh Penguins
into Washington to face Ovechkin and the Capitals at the Verizon Center in one of eight games on the NHL schedule. The last time they met was on Jan. 1, during the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic -- a 3-1 Washington victory at Heinz Field during which Crosby collided with then-Capital Dave Steckel and went down heavily. Four days later, a hit by Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman
left Crosby with a concussion that kept him out until Nov. 21.
Both teams are coming off losses on Tuesday -- Crosby had two assists in New York, but the Penguins lost 4-3 to the Rangers. Ovechkin set up Washington's lone goal during a 2-1 loss to St. Louis in Dale Hunter
's first game as coach.
The NHL Network will televise the game in the United States, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Also at 7, the Rangers visit Carolina for the Hurricanes' second game under new coach Kirk Muller
, whose debut turned into a 3-1 loss to Florida on Tuesday.
There figures to be plenty of emotion in Winnipeg, where the current Jets host the team that used to own that name -- the Phoenix Coyotes
-- in an 8:30 p.m. ET start.
The Coyotes, coming off a 4-1 win in Chicago on Tuesday, will be playing in Winnipeg for the first time since the franchise left town in 1996. Phoenix captain Shane Doan
is the lone Coyote who was part of that team.
Also at 8:30, Ottawa tries to build on its 6-4 win at Winnipeg on Tuesday when it visits Dallas. The Stars have been off since a 3-1 win at Colorado on Monday.
A half-hour later, Columbus continues a swing through Western Canada with a stop in Calgary, where the Flames are coming off a 1-0 win against Nashville on Tuesday.
The Predators move on to Vancouver, a 4-1 winner against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, for a 10 p.m. ET start.
The last two games of the night get under way at 10:30 p.m. ET. Florida visits Los Angeles, a 2-0 home winner against the Sharks on Monday, and Montreal visits San Jose in a game that can be seen in Canada on RDS.