PENS TV SOUNDChristian Ehrhoff Mike Johnston --Sam Kasan
THEY SAID IT--Michelle Crechiolo
EHRHOFF FEELS READY
It looks like the Pens could potentially have a fully healthy lineup tonight for the first time in as long as anyone can remember.
Pens defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (concussion protocol; 12 games missed) said after the morning skate he feels good and ready to return, but it will be the coaches' decision.
"I'll meet with Christian and the doctors and see if he gets final clearance," head coach Mike Johnston said. "Then we'll go from there."
Ehrhoff, who has been skating with the team since Feb. 14, was hurt on Jan. 28 at Washington when he struck his head on the ice following a hit from Alex Ovechkin. It's the first time in Ehrhoff's career that he's dealt with an injury like this one.
"Like I said throughout this process, it was a frustrating injury," Ehrhoff said. "You don’t really know what the timetable is and you just go day-by-day and it’s not like set in stone when you can come back. As a player, it’s a little more frustrating injury, for sure.
"I think we’re heading in a good direction the last few games. We were really good, especially against a great team in St. Louis. I thought we played one of our best games there. I’m happy to jump in now and hopefully I can do my part to keep it going."--Michelle Crechiolo
Ehrhoff said after the skate he feels good and ready to return, but it will be the coaches' decision.
Gary Agnew running the optional skate...
...With help from Rick Tocchet.
The French connection (and Comeau)
Evgeni Malkin had two goals and four points in the Pens' back-to-back games this weekend
Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed two-or-fewer goals in seven straight games entering tonight
David Perron --Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan
MORNING SKATE INFO
The Pens are holding an optional morning skate at Verizon Center, run by assistant coach Gary Agnew. Notable attendees are David Perron, Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, Blake Comeau, Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff.
Ehrhoff may be upgraded to a game-time decision if all goes well today. We'll keep you posted. --Sam Kasan
PENS LOOKING FOR POINTS, NOT RETRIBUTIONOn Wednesday night the Penguins and Capitals will collide in the nation’s capital. The last time the Pens and Caps squared off, the game was overshadowed by an incident between Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang and Washington forward Alex Ovechkin. In the third period of a 1-1 contest Letang was corralling a loose puck in the slot when Ovechkin tomahawk-slashed Letang on the back of his leg. Letang fell to the ice and slammed back first into the end boards. He left the game, but did return later in the frame. Following the game Ovechkin claimed he was trying to shoot the puck, an answer that Letang shrugged off, saying, “I guess he thought my leg was a puck.” Even though the incident caused tempers to boil over in the game, the Pens have moved on. Though the Pens certainly haven’t forgotten the slash, they aren’t expecting the nastiness of the previous game to carry over. Full story here
. --Sam Kasan
DIGITAL PREVIEW--Sam Kasan
SCOUTING THE CAPS --Sam Kasan
START ME UP
Good morning hockey fans. Tonight the Pens try to snap the Caps streak in the season series with the final showdown in the nation's capital. Pittsburgh is 0-3 against Washington this year, and has been outscored 10-1. They're hoping their luck changes tonight. Here are some game notes to get you ready for the action...
- The Penguins finish the season series against the Washington Capitals (TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio 105.9 The X) at the Verizon Center.
- Pittsburgh is hoping to pick up its first win of the season against Washington. The Penguins have never gone a full season without picking up at least one point in the standings in games against the Capitals.
- The Penguins have a three-game unbeaten stretch on the road (2-0-1).
- Pittsburgh is 5-1-1 in its last seven road contests.
Stick tap: Pens PR--Sam Kasan