Penguins

Game 31 Preview: Capitals Vs. Penguins

By: Casey Shea
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(Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to extend their winning streak to double digits when they host the Washington Capitals Tuesday night.

Pittsburgh extended their winning streak to nine with wins over the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins over the weekend.

This will be the third and final meeting of the season between the Penguins and Capitals.

Pittsburgh has won both of the previous games by three-goal margins, including a 5-2 victory in their most recent game on Feb. 7 at Consol Energy Center.

The Capitals (12-15-1, 25 points) continue to struggle and enter tonight’s contest in fourth place in the Southeast Division. They are also 13th in the Eastern Conference and are seven points out of the playoffs.

Washington is coming off a win against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, but they had lost four out of five games before that.

Mike Ribeiro leads the team with 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists), while Nicklas Backstrom is second with 24 (three goals, 21 assists).

Alex Ovechkin’s struggles continue to surface this season, but he does lead the team with 11 goals. However, he only has three points (two goals, one assists) over his last six games.

In goal, Braden Holtby (10-9-0, 2.97 GAA, .908 save percentage) has allowed three goals or less in all six starts this month. Though, it should be noted that he’s allowed three goals in four of those starts.

Defenseman Mike Green likely will not play again this evening as he continues to deal with a groin injury.

For Pittsburgh, defense has been a major factor in their winning streak reaching nine games so far. The Penguins have allowed just five goals over their last six games and allowed just one goal over the weekend.

Sidney Crosby continues to lead the team and the NHL with 48 points (13 goals, 35 assists). Chris Kunitz’s incredible start to season (18 goals, 22 assists) has also seen him recently take over the team lead in goals from James Neal.

In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury (15-5-0, 2.45 GAA, .909 save percentage) was given the day off on Sunday after shutting out the Rangers 3-0 on Saturday. It was his 23rd career shutout, which made him the all-time franchise leader. He has also won his last four starts.

Against the Capitals, Fleury is 12-7-2 with a 2.68 GAA and .909 save percentage.

Evgeni Malkin continues to recover from an upper-body injury he suffered against the Maple Leafs on March 14. However, the Penguins will also be without Kris Letang who left Sunday’s game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day.

The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. and you can watch it on Root Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sheavedice

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