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Preview: Penguins at Capitals

Marc-Andre Fleury expected in goal for Pittsburgh; Washington's Alex Ovechkin has chance at 1,000 points

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

PENGUINS (26-8-5) at CAPITALS (26-9-5)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV

 

Penguins team scope

Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's 5-0-0 with a 1.84 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in his past five games. Matthew Murray will be his backup, marking his return from a lower-body injury sustained Dec. 28. Murray missed two games. The Penguins have won five consecutive games, the second-longest current streak in the NHL, behind the Capitals' six-game winning streak. "They're playing extremely well," coach Mike Sullivan said. "They've won six games in a row, they're a hard team to play against, they're one of the top teams in the League. I think these teams have familiarity with one another with the games that we've played against one another here over the last while. I don't think there's any secrets. I think both teams are pretty good teams that are playing pretty good hockey right now." The Penguins lead the League with an average of 3.51 goals per game.

 

Capitals team scope

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had three points against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Monday to reach 999 in the NHL and has a chance to become the 84th player in League history to reach 1,000. "It's a big number," Ovechkin said. "It's nice to get it at home in front of fans, my family and it's a big moment. It doesn't matter which team we're going to play or where you get those kind of milestones. I just want to get it and move forward." The Capitals have won six straight games, the longest current winning streak in the NHL. Braden Holtby will start in goal. He has four shutouts, a 1.51 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage in his past 15 games. Forward T.J. Oshie will return after missing one game because of an upper-body injury. "I feel good," Oshie said. "I skated in Montreal in the morning there. I felt like I could play. They wanted me to sit out, so if it was up to me I wouldn't have missed anything. … They wanted me to sit out and rest a little bit, just being cautious. It's a long year and we want to go deep here."

 

Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Bryan Rust

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Scott Wilson -- Matt Cullen -- Eric Fehr

Trevor Daley -- Kris Letang

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Olli Maatta -- Steve Oleksy

Marc-Andre Fleury

Matthew Murray

Scratched: Tom Kuhnhackl, David Warsofsky

Injured: Brian Dumoulin (broken jaw), Chad Ruhwedel (illness)

 

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Brett Connolly

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney

Injured: None

 

Status report

The Penguins reassigned goaltender Tristan Jarry to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Wednesday to make room for Murray's return. Warsofsky was recalled from the AHL on Wednesday as a precaution because of Ruhwedel's illness. Letang, Crosby, Kessel and Cullen sat out the optional morning skate Tuesday but all are expected to play Wednesday.

 

Who's hot

Letang has seven points in five games. Kessel has six points during a five-game point streak. Malkin has 10 points in his past eight games and 26 points in 19 games. Crosby has 11 points in eight games, and 25 points in 18 games. Schultz has one goal and four assists during a five-game point streak, and 20 points in his past 17 games. … Kuznetsov has eight points in his past four games. Williams has eight points in six games and 17 points in 17 games. Ovechkin has 10 points in nine games. Backstrom has one goal and three assists during a three-game point streak.

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