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Preview: Penguins at Capitals

Goalie Matt Murray starts for Pittsburgh; Braden Holtby in for Washington

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

PENGUINS (10-3-2) at CAPITALS (9-4-2)

7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN, NHL.TV

 
Penguins team scope

Goalie Matt Murray will start for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Murray is 4-0-0 with a 1.25 goals-against average and .961 save percentage in four starts. The Penguins have been off since a 4-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. Pittsburgh is 3-0-0 against Metropolitan Division opponents and play six of its next eight games against divisional teams. "They're fun games to play in," coach Mike Sullivan said. "They're rivalries, they're teams that we have histories with and we play in a very good division. There's a lot of good teams, so they're a big challenge for us. I think they're fun games to play in."

Video: TOR@PIT: Murray kicks out pad for a sprawling save
 
Capitals team scope

Goalie Braden Holtby will make his 12th start of the season for the Washington Capitals, who have lost two consecutive games. Holtby is 5-1-0 in his past six starts and has allowed two or fewer goals in five of those games. The Capitals are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. They are 1-for-19 on the power play in their past seven games and tied for 24th in the NHL at 11.9 percent. Coach Barry Trotz thinks they have been getting scoring chances but haven't been putting them in the net, so there may be changes in the works to try to jumpstart the man advantage. "All the stats are there but the finish is not," Trotz said. "There's so many good things that we do but the best thing we can do is score on it. We may tweak a guy here, a guy there. It won't be an indictment on that person if we do make a couple switches. It might be just to see if the change will be good for us in terms of finding the back of the net."

Video: WSH@FLA: Holtby stuffs Jagr's early one-timer 

 

Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Scott Wilson -- Matt Cullen -- Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Tom Kuhnhackl, Steve Oleksy, Tom Sestito

Injured: Derrick Pouliot (lower body)

 

Capitals projected lineup

Marcus Johansson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Andre Burakovsky

Zach Sanford -- Lars Eller -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Daniel Winnik, Taylor Chorney  

Injured: None

 

Status report

The Penguins held an optional skate Wednesday. Kessel, Malkin and Cole did not skate but Sullivan said all three players were fine to play against the Capitals. Pouliot skated for a second consecutive day. … Schmidt replaces Chorney after he was a healthy scratch Tuesday. Connolly also returns to the lineup in place of Winnik. 

 
Who's hot

Crosby has 13 points in his past nine games. … Letang has three points in three games. … Ovechkin has scored 46 points in 45 games against the Penguins in his NHL career.

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