-If you didn't see it, check out The Pensblog's look at the Penguins' draft history under Ray Shero. It's a very thorough look at the team's in ability to develop forward prospect.
-On aspect we're not sure gets enough scrutiny or attention in this matter is the fact that Shero has traded a number of first, second or third round picks away in order to make the team stronger in the immediate sense. This has been a common practice under Shero going back to his earliest days with the Penguins:
-July 20, 2006 - The Penguins acquired left winger Nils Ekman and goaltender Patrick Ehelechner from the Sharks in exchange for a second round pick in 2007.
-February 27, 2007 - The Penguins acquired left winger Georges Laraque from the Coyotes in exchange for left winger Daniel Carcillo and a third round pick in 2008
-February 26, 2008 - The Penguins acquired right wingers Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa from the Thrashers in exchange for centers Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito, right winger Colby Armstrong and a first round pick in 2008. Also, the Penguins acquired defenseman Hal Gill from the Maple Leafs in exchange for a second round pick in 2008 and a fifth round pick in 2009.
-March 4, 2009 - The Penguins acquired right winger Bill Guerin from the Islanders in exchange for a third round pick in 2009.
-March 1, 2010 - The Penguins acquired defenseman Jordan Leopold from the Panther in exchange for second round pick in 2010.
-March 25, 2013 - The Penguins acquired defenseman Douglas Murray from the Sharks in exchange for second round picks in 2013 and 2014.
-March 28, 2013 - The Penguins acquired right winger Jarome Iginla from the Flames in exchange for Kenny Agostino, Ben Hanowski and a first round pick in 2013.
-March 5, 2014 - The Penguins acquired right winger Lee Stempniak from the Flames in exchange for a third round pick in 2014. Also, the Penguins acquired center Marcel Goc from the Panthers in exchange for a fifth round pick in 2014 and a third round pick in 2013.
-That's a lot of high-end draft picks which have been moved away from the team in order to improve it's immediate chances for the Stanley Cup. It's the price of adding Marian Hossa, Hal Gill and Bill Guerin for those Stanley Cup runs in 2008 and 2009 or even Jordan Leopold for a second round exit in 2008. That price has combined with the salary cap coming down this season and a litany of injuries and illnesses to create the holes the team had up front prior to last week's trade deadline.
-There's hardly any guarantee the Penguins would have drafted a viable NHL forward with any of those draft picks. Their history of being attracted to defensemen and failures of players such as Keven Veilleux would suggest otherwise. But we have to imagine at least on of those picks could have turned into a decent third-line winger. Heck, even one of the forward prospects they did trade such as Dan Carcillo or Angelo Esposito could have turned out to become better NHL players with some presumably better coaching than they received in their other NHL locales.
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Lee Stempniak, Olli Maatta, Brooks Orpik and Jeff Zatkoff.
-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo and Brian Gibbons.
-According to the team's Web site, the Penguins' lines and defensive pairings in warmups are:
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Lee Stempniak
Taylor Pyatt - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Jussi Jokinen - Brandon Sutter - Joe Vitale
Tanner Glass - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik - Olli Maatta
Rob Scuderi - Matt Niskanen
Simon Despres - Deryk Engelland
-Pyatt and Jokinen switched late in Friday's game and each line seemed to be sparked by that change. Sutter looked like a completely different player with Jokinen on his line.
-The Capitals' starters are Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr, Joel Ward, Mike Green, Dmitry Orlov and Jaroslav Halak.
-Their scratches are John Erskine and Ryan Stoa.
19:31: After a defensive zone turnover by Orpik, Chimera deals a pass from the right corner to Fehr trailing in the right circle. Fehr lifts a wrister which Zatkoff fights off.
19:15: The Penguins get an earl lead. Stempniak pushes a puck out of his own zone and deals to Crosby. Crosby pushes it up ice and deals to Kunitz hustling up the left wing. Kunitz blows by a flat-footed Mike Green and attacks the net. He shows forehand then sneaks to his backhand and tucks a shot by the blocker of Halak. Stempniak made a solid play to get the puck out of his own defensive zone and did the most basic, smartest thing a winger on Sidney Crosby can do. Gets the puck to Sidney Crosby. Green completely biffed on how he defended Kunitz while Kunitz showed off some nifty scoring touch. A healthy showing of Penguins fans offer cheers. It's Kunitz's 30th goal. Crosby and Stempniak each get assists. Penguins 1-0.
18:57: Niskanen pounds a slapper from center point. Halak fights it off.
18:41: Niskanen takes a pass at the right point and sails it wide of the cage to the far side.
16:57: Fehr gets a goal this time. Chimera calmly controls the puck on the left half wall and saucers a cross-ice pass to Fehr streaking up the right wing. The puck gets by the stick of Scuderi and Fehr taps it by Zatkoff. What a pass! Scuderi read the play and Pyatt even had solid coverage while back check on Fehr. It was just a perfect pass. Chimera and Ward get assists. Capitals 1, Penguins 1.
16:19: The Penguins will get the game's first power play as Green slashed Crosby. Green's rough night continues. Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Niskanen and Kunitz take the ice.
16:08: And the Penguins don't waste any time. Controlling the puck at center point, Malkin slides a perfect pass into Crosby's wheelhouse in the right circle. Crosby swipes a one-timer by the glove hand of Halak on the near side. What a shot! It's Crosby's 30th goal. Malkin and Maatta get assists. More cheers from Penguins fans. Penguins 2-1.
14:28: Green chucks a wrister from the right point which hits a body or two.
12:18: Penner snaps off a wrister from a bad angle on the right wing. Zatkoff kicks it out.