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Penguins at Capitals preview

Crosby to play in 800th NHL game with Pittsburgh; Washington seeks fourth win in past five games

by Brian McNally / Correspondent

PENGUINS (9-6-2) at CAPITALS (8-7-1)


The Game 

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby will play his 800th game in the NHL when the Penguins visit the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Friday.

Crosby, 30, will become third player in Penguins history to reach that milestone, joining Mario Lemieux (915 games) and Jaromir Jagr (806). Crosby will try to generate more offense for the Penguins, 2-3-1 in their past six games after going 5-1-0 in their previous six; he has three assists in his past nine games after having 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his first eight games this season.

The Capitals will try for their fourth win in five games (3-1-0) after going 2-5-0 in their previous seven games. Forward Alex Ovechkin is one power-play goal shy of tying Jagr and Mike Gartner (217 each) for 10th place on the NHL's all-time list.

Players to watch

Penguins forward Phil Kessel has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past two games and 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his past eight. 

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is one win away from 200 in his NHL career. He would become the second-fastest in League history (319 games) to win 200 games; Ken Dryden did it in his 311th NHL game.


They said it 

"Anytime Pittsburgh and Washington meet, there's always an element, there's a heightened emotional level because of the rivalry and some of the high-stakes games that they've played in over the last couple of years." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

"A guy that I've always appreciated because I'd read his book at a pretty young age so I kind of know the history of his career. … Anytime you can be mentioned in the same breath as him is pretty cool." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby on Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden, the fastest in NHL history to win 200 games  


Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Patric Hornqvist

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin -- Riley Sheahan -- Bryan Rust

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Greg McKegg -- Ryan Reaves

Olli Maatta -- Kris Letang

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Brian Dumoulin -- Chad Ruhwedel

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Josh Archibald, Frank Corrado  

Injured: Matt Hunwick (concussion), Carter Rowney (hand)


Capitals projected lineup

Chandler Stephenson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- Tom Wilson

Liam O'Brien -- Jay Beagle -- Alex Chiasson

Dmitry Orlov -- Taylor Chorney

Christian Djoos -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Aaron Ness, Nathan Walker

Injured: Andre Burakovsky (fractured left thumb), Brett Connolly (upper body), Tyler Graovac (upper body), Matt Niskanen (upper body)  


Status report

Hunwick participated in an optional morning skate but is not ready to return, Sullivan said. … Niskanen, Connolly and Graovac each skated for a second consecutive day. Connolly is closest to returning, coach Barry Trotz said.


Stat pack

Orlov will play in his 300th NHL game. … Malkin has seven goals in his past seven games against the Capitals.

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