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Penguins Report: Game Day at Washington

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Rich Walsh and Sam Kasan have everything you need to know heading into the first game of tonight's home-and-home series (which are the best - love the playoff-type feel of these) in the Verizon Game Day Report...

And Deryk Engelland speaks to the media

--Michelle Crechiolo

Head coach Dan Bylsma had a few updates regarding his roster...
  • Jeff Zatkoff is starting in net
  • Chris Conner is getting close to returning to play, but isn't quite there yet
  • Robert Bortuzzo (upper-body) and Brian Gibbons (lower-body) are both day-to-day. Both could play tonight or tomorrow

--Sam Kasan

There were 15 participants at the Pens optional morning skate: forwards Beau Bennett, Joe Vitale, Chris Conner, Brian Gibbons, Jussi Jokinen, Marcel Goc, Craig Adams and Lee Stempniak, defensmen Simon Despres, Robert Bortuzzo, Deryk Engelland and Olli Maatta and goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury, Jeff Zatkoff and Tomas Vokoun.

--Sam Kasan

The Pens are holding an optional morning skate. So participation is to be determined. However, they did hold a full-squad practice Sunday night at Verizon Center. Here are some pics for proof...

Up ice rushes

Todd Reirden still has the perfect form

Bennett returned to practice Sunday night

Engelland has had the hot hand lately

Malkin watches practice waiting for his turn

There's no one better in the NHL at taking a pass with his skates than Crosby

Scuderi on point

Team gathers

Maatta and Orpik as observers


--Sam Kasan


--Sam Kasan


--Sam Kasan

Want more info on the Capitals? Check out Michelle Crechiolo's scouting report below...

--Sam Kasan

Good morning hockey fans! Tonight the Pens finish off their season-long five-game road trip with a battle against the Capitals in D.C. Here are some game notes to get you ready for the game...
  • The Penguins conclude their season-long five-game road swing against the Washington Capitals (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio: 105.9 the X) at the Verizon Center.
  • Pittsburgh has won six straight games against Washington and seven of the last eight meetings.
  • The Penguins have been victorious in three of their past four visits to the Verizon Center and in four of the last six trips here.
  • Tonight marks the 21st time that Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin are all playing in the same regular-season game against one another. In the first 20, the Penguins have compiled a record of 14-5-1.
  • Since the Penguins returned from the Olympic break, D Matt Niskanen has averaged 25:51 minutes per contest. That average would place seventh in the NHL if projected over the full season.
  • Tonight the Penguins begin their 12th set of back-to-back games. Thus far they have a cumulative record of 15-6-1; including 7-3-1 the first night; and 8-3 in the second game.
Stick tap: Pens PR
Today we'll open the day with one of my favorite bands from high school. The Richmond, Virginia group (that's close enough to D.C., right?) Avail. Here is "Cross Tie" off their album Over the James.

--Sam Kasan
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