NHL on NBCSN: Another classic battle between the Caps and Pens

Associated Press
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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

Thanks to a snowstorm in January, we get to enjoy a classic battle between the Capitals and Penguins on NBCSN tonight.

This will be Pittsburgh’s second game in two nights and their third in four days. They took care of the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday afternoon and obliterated the Arizona Coyotes, 6-0, last night.

The Penguins’ top line of Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz was outstanding against the ‘Yotes. Hornqvist scored a hat trick, Crosby finished the game with three assists and Kunitz had a goal and a helper.

They may have been led by their top line yesterday, but getting Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bonino back after long absences definitely hasn’t hurt. Malkin missed 10 games because of a lower-body injury while Bonino missed 17 contests with a hand injury. Both players returned on Saturday.

The Penguins didn’t make any drastic moves before the trade deadline. They’re confident their mix of veterans and young players will allow them to make a long playoff run.

“We like our team,” head coach Mike Sullivan said, per The Tribune. “I think we have the makings of a very competitive group here. We have a nice mix of veteran players and young enthusiastic guys. We’ve got a lot of team speed. I think we have some flexibility in a lot of our positions, depending on how we want to play guys. We’re strong in the goaltending position, as well. We believe in this group.”

It’s safe to say the Capitals like their team too and why wouldn’t they?

The top team in the NHL acquired Daniel Winnik from Toronto for Brooks Laich, but like Pittsburgh, Washington didn’t feel the need to make a huge move.

Parting ways with a veteran like Laich wasn’t easy for Washington. The 32-year-old’s production has dropped off significantly over the last few seasons, but his experience will be hard to replace.

“It’s hard to do,” MacLellan said, per The Washington Post. “You want him to be a part. He’s earned it, you know? He likes the team, and we’re a good team going forward. It’s frustrating, but we had to do what’s necessary to keep the organization and keep the team going forward here. It was weighing us down more next year than it does this year, so it was a difficult situation to balance.”

The Capitals are coming off a tough loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon.