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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, January 15th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (22-16-8) at Pittsburgh Penguins (33-12-2), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A meeting between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin is usually big enough on its own.

The fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins can post the longest home winning streak in franchise history only adds more intrigue to Wednesday's matchup with the Washington Capitals.

The Penguins return home from a 2-0-1 road trip out west having won 12 straight as the hosting club. That matches the record set between Feb. 22- March 30 of last season.

Pittsburgh also comes in well rested, having been off since winning a 2-1 decision in Calgary on Saturday. Marc-Andre Fleury came up with 27 saves and both Chris Kunitz and Matt Niskanen had goals.

The Penguins, who are 6-1-1 in their last eight games, had scored 18 non- shootout goals in their previous four games while allowing 15.

"It was nice to have a nice, low-scoring game," said Fleury. "The last few games were a little crazy. We have a lot of guys who can score goals, but if we want to be successful we have to do well defensively."

Pittsburgh will play its next three at home, where it has not lost since Nov. 13 and is 19-3-0 this season. The Pens also get some rest after this contest as their next game isn't until Monday versus Florida.

Even with the recent days off, Penguins forward James Neal is day-to-day and questionable for tonight with an upper-body ailment that has held him out of practice the last two days.

Neal has 17 goals and 36 points in 27 games this season and notched a goal and an assist in Pittsburgh's 4-0 win over hosting Washington on Nov. 20. Fleury recorded an 18-save shutout, improving to 14-7-2 with a 2.49 goals against average in his career versus the Capitals.

Pittsburgh bested Washington for the fifth consecutive game and the Capitals have lost three straight in the Steel City following an eight-game series road win streak.

Crosby and Paul Martin also had a goal and an assist in the November victory, while Ovechkin was held to just two shots.

Crosby leads the NHL with 67 points and is second with 42 assists. He has logged eight goals and 25 points over a 16-game home point streak and has tallied five goals and 22 points in 12 career home meetings with the Capitals.

The former Hart Trophy winner has 45 points in 26 career games versus Washington, while Ovechkin has 22 goals and 40 points in 32 career games against the Penguins.

Ovechkin notched his league-leading 33rd goal of the season in last night's 2-1 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. However, Ovechkin, Eric Fehr and Nicklas Backstrom all failed on their attempts in the tiebreaker, while San Jose's Patrick Marleau had the lone shootout goal.

"It was a good test for us. A good team. They've been together for a long time," said Ovechkin. "I think we had good chances to win the game in (regulation), in the third period, but we got the point."

Rookie Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves as he started for the 12th time in Washington's past 17 games. He is 6-2-5 with a 2.06 GAA and .936 save percentage in 14 games (12 starts) this season.

Though Washington has now followed up two straight wins with back-to-back shootout losses, the point moved the Capitals into a tie with Philadelphia for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Both teams trail Pittsburgh by 16 points for the top spot.

Washington will play three straight and eight of its next nine on the road, where it is 8-8-4 on the season.

Braden Holtby got the start in Washington's first meeting with Pittsburgh this season, giving up all four goals on 40 shots faced.

01/15 10:29:41 ET

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Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
4th
HAW 10
NEV 26
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14