Here's what the Pens were saying in the locker room heading into their matchup with Washington…
ON PLAYING AT CAPITAL ONE ARENA
Hornqvist: "We have good memories from there from last year when we won that Game 7. I think our fourth game this year, we played a really good game there too. It's always a fun matchup playing against Washington. Lot of intensity, lot of rivalry too and history. So it's fun."
Sheary: "I think it's always a fun game. It's two pretty good teams going head to head and obviously we've seen a lot of each other the last couple years. These are always games we get up for and I know they do too, so I expect nothing else but that tonight."
Maatta: "I think it's a huge test. I think we had a pretty good game last game. Even the game before that, we didn't give up much. We played pretty good defensively, but these guys are a big test. They're a good team and they're really dangerous offensively, so I think we just got to be ready and just keep playing the same way. Defense-minded at first, but we know we're a good enough team to get the scoring chances."
ON ALEX OVECHKIN AND WASHINGTON'S POWER PLAY
Sullivan: "That's the balance, is he's so dangerous on that back side flank, but I think Washington's power play has evolved over the years and (T.J.) Oshie is arguably every bit as dangerous in the pocket as Ovechkin is on the backside. I think you've got to be conscious of where their threats are, but it's hard to key on any particular one."
Maatta: "I don't think it's only Ovechkin. I think they have a really good unit. Everybody can score. They're all really dangerous. You can't really pay too much attention. Obviously you have to know where he is at all times, but they got other guys who can score too."
ON ANOTHER SET OF BACK-TO-BACKS
Crosby: "I think they're going to be a challenge all year. Back-to-backs are what they are, when you have a bunch of them I think that fatigue and things like that, it's something that you've got to make sure you're ready to play. You can't look for an easy first period or try to get a feel for the game. You've got to be ready to play a hard game regardless of whether you haven't played for three days or it's a back to back, you've got to keep that mindset. Hopefully that's something we can do a better job with. We're going to have a lot of them. We've got to make sure we get points in those games."
Hornqvist: "I think that Calgary game we played really hard. Those back-to-backs before, our starts hadn't been good. It's tough when you're playing back-to-back and get down. Even to go down one or two goals, but we go down four or five goals and then it's almost impossible to get through those. We just have to make sure we're playing strong, but first focus is Washington, though."
ODDS AND ENDS
Crosby, on if he feels close to breaking his 9-game goalless stretch: "Yeah, it does. It feels about that. Usually when you get asked about it, it means you're close to putting one in (laughs). Hopefully that's a good sign for me. There's been some chances there, some posts, things like that. But would still like to generate a little bit more."
Sullivan, on what they will do with Mark Recchi out for the next two games while he gets elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame: "Sergei Gonchar is going to come down behind the bench. He'll take the responsibilities that Rex has, just as far as some of the individual attention and the iPad responsibility. But behind the bench, I think it'Ill be good for Sergei to watch a game at ice level. Not that he hasn't had extensive experience as a player (laughs), he's seen a whole lot of hockey at that level. But it's been a little while and I think sometimes it's a whole different vantage point."
Sheary, on getting three PPGs in their 3-2 win over Washington on Oct. 11: "That was the difference in the game the last time we played here. I think if we can get more of the same tonight, I think we'll be alright. Hopefully we're better on our 5-on-5 play and get a couple of those goals too."
Crosby, on the difference between Letang and Schultz quarterbacking the power play: "They're pretty similar. The way they can skate and move across the blue line, I think they're both guys that rely on their skating to pull penalty killers out of position and they both can shoot the puck. It's pretty hard to tell you, there's not a big difference between them. They're both right-handed shots. Both like to shoot it. That's the big thing, when that guy's in that position, he's got to be willing to shoot the puck from the middle of the ice, and they're both able to do that well."