PITTSBURGH, PA - News and notes as the Capitals prepare for todays 12:30 clash against the Penguins at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh:
--The Caps slipped back to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings with Floridas 4-3 win over Winnipeg on Saturday, but a win today would vault the Caps back into the Southeast Division lead and the third spot in the conference.
--Today marks the end of a three-game road trip for the Caps, who started the trip with a 3-0 win in Montreal, followed by a 3-0 loss in Carolina. The Caps are 2-1 against the Penguins this season and are looking to win the season series for the fourth consecutive season. The Penguins have won five straight to move into sixth place in the conference.
--Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has eight goals in his last five games and now leads the NHL with 55 points (25 goals, 30 assists). Malkin, Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin are all among the top-10 in career scoring among active Russian skaters. Ovechkin ranks fourth in points (650), Malkin ranks fifth (473) and Semin ranks sixth (379). Ovechkin has scored the second-most goals (320) among active Russian skaters while Semin ranks fifth (187) and Malkin ranks sixth (183).
--Since 2008, the Capitals have not lost a game on the road against the Penguins, going 8-0-0 in their eight contests in Pittsburgh and outscoring the Penguins 35-20 in that span. In that same time frame the Caps have gone 13-2-2 against Pittsburgh overall. Alex Ovechkin has 33 points (19 goals, 14 assists) in 27 career games against the Penguins while Mike Knuble has 46 points (31 goals, 15 assists) in 64 career games.
--All three games between the Caps and Pens this season have been decided by one goal with the Capitals winning twice. Eight of the last 12 games in the series have been decided by one goal. The Capitals have held the Penguins to just five goals in their last six contests (0.83 goals-against), including three shutouts.
--Michal Neuvirth is 2-0-0-1 with a 0.65 GAA, a .977 save percentage and two shutouts in three career games against the Penguins. Tomas Vokoun is 9-10-2-4 with a 2.50 GAA, a .927 save percentage and three shutouts against the Penguins.