In case you haven't heard, the Caps and Pens will be facing off this afternoon on national television. The Pens enter the game with a 15-game point streak (13-0-2), while the Caps... well... not so much (though they have gotten at least one point out of four of their last five games). Washington's Alexes have gone cold, as Alex Ovechkin has only one goal in his last six games and Alex Semin has only one goal in his last eight outings, and the team is getting absolutely no offensive help from the blueline. Consider:
- Caps defensemen have combined for just 16 goals on the season in more than 377 man-games (Ben Clymer played several games on defense, but did not score a goal), four fewer than Habs' rearguard Sheldon Souray has in 59 games.
- Jamie Heward's two power-play goals and Brian Pothier's one tally with the extra man are the only special teams goals scored by the Caps defensemen so far this year. Thirty-eight NHL defensemen have three or more special teams goals individually.
- The Caps' entire d-corps has 28 power-play points. So does Sergei Zubov. Sheldon Souray, Sergei Gonchar and Dan Boyle all have more.
- Pothier leads the blueline in assists with 18, 41st among NHL defensemen, despite playing with two of the League's top-11 goal scorers.
As always, get all your previews from around the Cap-o-sphere over at Washington Hockey Daily. Enjoy the game, and Let's Go Caps!
- Hart: Henrik Zetterberg (3G, including game-winner, A, 6 SOG)
- Ross: Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk (4 points each)
- Norris: Dion Phaneuf (G, 3 SOG, 5 hits)
- Vezina: Martin Brodeur (26-save shutout win)
- Richard: Henrik Zetterberg (3G)
- Calder: Daniel Girardi (2A, +1)
- Aiken: Steve Valiquette (L, 2 goals allowed on 8 shots against in 19:24 of relief work)