NHL on NBCSN Doubleheader: Pens vs. Caps; Preds vs. Sharks

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We have a full night of NHL action ahead of us on NBCSN and it will start at 8:00 p.m. ET with the Washington Capitals hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. You can also watch the game online here.

Of course, those games are always billed as contests between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but those squads as a whole are red hot going into tonight’s game.

Washington is on a five-game winning streak and has a 6-1-0 record. By contrast, Pittsburgh got off to a sluggish start, but has won four of its last five contests.

Ovechkin has played a significant part of the Capitals’ success, but sophomore Evgeny Kuznetsov is actually their scoring leader right now with three goals and 11 points in seven contests. Nine of those points were scored in his last three contests, so he’s couldn’t be much more dangerous right now.

On the Penguins’ side, their recent success has come in spite of Crosby’s struggles, which isn’t something that’s been true all that often since his debut in 2005. Crosby has been held off the scoresheet in seven of his first eight games this season, although maybe a contest against the rival Capitals is just what he needs right now.

Of course, Crosby isn’t the only Penguins’ forward that’s off to a relatively quiet start. Instead, Pittsburgh owes what success its had so far to Marc-Andre Fleury, who has a 2.02 GAA and .932 save percentage this season.

Following that game, NBCSN will feature the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators as they battle, starting at 10:30 p.m. ET. You also have the option of seeing the game online by going here.

Nashville is one of the best teams in the league right now with a 6-1-1 record. San Jose got off to a strong start too, but it lost three straight contests before snapping that slump on Saturday with a 4-2 win versus Carolina.

As has often been the case, the Predators have been led thus far by their defense and goaltending. In particular, Pekka Rinne is off to a great start with a 1.84 GAA and .932 save percentage in seven starts.

That’s not all the Predators have going for them though. They’ve scored more goals this year than San Jose, in part because James Neal has bounced back from his rough 2014-15 campaign by scoring six goals and nine points in eight contests.

San Jose has plenty of offensive weapons to counter with from Joe Pavelski to Patrick Marleau to Joe Thornton. However, it’s Joel Ward, who signed with the Sharks over the summer, that’s leading the charge with five goals and eight points in eight games. All five of his markers have come in his last four contests, including a hat trick on Saturday.