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About the Capitals - 02-03-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Capitals.

When and where: 12:30 p.m. EST. Verizon Center.

TV: The worst network on earth NBC, TSN2.

Record: 2-5-1, 5 points. The Capitals are in 14th place in the Eastern Conference and fourth place in the Southeast Division.

Leading Scorer: Mike Ribeiro, 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists).

Last Game: 3-2 home win against the Flyers, Friday. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist for the Capitals.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-3 road losss, Jan. 22. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists for the Penguins.

Capitals Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Ribeiro. He has 20 career points in 18 games against the Penguins.

Ex-Penguins on the Capitals: None.

Ex-Capitals on the Penguins: Matt Cooke, LW; Tomas Vokoun, G.

Useless Capitals Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Vokoun and Cooke one of six players who have been NHL teammates with Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. The others are center Kris Beech, left winger Chris Bourque, right winger Rico Fata and goaltender Brent Johnson, .

Best Capitals Video We Could Find: A post-game brawl between the Penguins and Capitals at the Mellon Arena following Game 5 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in 2001:

Probable goaltenders: Tomas Vokoun (2-1-0, 1.81 GAA, .940 SV%) for the Penguins. Braden Holtby (1-2-0, 4.02 GAA, .885 SV%) for the Capitals.

Injuries: For the Penguins, left winger Chris Kunitz (illness) is probable. Defenseman Matt Niskanen (ankle) is on injured reserve. For the Capitals, defenseman Jack Hillen (shoulder) and center Brooks Laich (groin) are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: Based off yesterday's game, these are the expected lines and defensive pairings assuming Kunitz is healthy enough to play:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 9 Pascal Dupuis
17 Zach Boychuk - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 18 James Neal
24 Matt Cooke - 16 Brandon Sutter - 48 Tyler Kennedy
10 Tanner Glass - 46 Joe Vitale - 27 Craig Adams

47 Simon Despres - 58 Kris Letang
44 Brooks Orpik - 7 Paul Martin
41 Robert Bortuzzo - 5 Deryk Engelland

-The Capitals did not have a full practice yesterday. Based off Friday's lineup and a suspension (see below), here are their expected lines and pairings

17 Wojtek Wolski - 9 Mike Ribeiro - 8 Alex Ovechkin
90 Marcus Johansson - 19 Nicklas Backstrom - 20 Troy Brouwer
25 Jason Chimera - 83 Jay Beagle - 42 Joel Ward
26 Matt Hendricks - 15 Joey Crabb - 16 Eric Fehr

27 Karl Alzner - 52 Mike Green
3 Tom Poti - 74 John Carlson
55 Jeff Schultz - 36 Tomas Kundratek

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played the Capitals, this happened:

-The last time the Penguins played the Capitals on Super Bowl Sunday, this happened:

-This too:

-Goaltender Fleury has 22 career shutouts. He needs one more to surpass Tom Barrasso for most in Penguins  history.

-Vokoun has 49 career shutouts.

-"I don't care what their win-loss record is -- Ovechkin's going to be playing, going to be on their power play, be a dangerous guy." - Dan Bylsma on the Capitals.

-Capitals defenseman John Erskine is suspended for three games as a result of elbowing Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds in he face Friday. The hit in question:

-Poti is expected to replace Erskine in the lineup. It would be his first NHL game since Jan. 24. He has been sidelined primariy due to groin injuries.

-Holtby has never played the Penguins.

-“Pittsburgh — you can’t help but get up for that game. It seems like the whole city gets excited when you play Pittsburgh. If you don’t get up for these games there’s something wrong.” - Chimera on playing the Penguins.

-Our live blog, direct from our nation's capital, begins at approximately noon. Please tune in.

(Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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