NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Tuesday’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
After returning to the ice Sunday for the first time in seven days as a result of the League’s COVID-19 protocols, the Capitals were promptly defeated by Pittsburgh, 6-3. Tuesday’s matchup is the fourth of eight meetings this season between these fierce rivals.
Pittsburgh boasts a perfect 5-0-0 record at home this season. The last time the Penguins lost at PPG Paints Arena was March 8, 2020 in a 6-2 loss to Carolina.
Two of Pittsburgh’s top offensive stars – Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel – have found their form in recent games. Guentzel, who only played 39 regular-season games last season (shoulder surgery) and is just two seasons removed from a 40-goal campaign, has almost doubled his output in half as many games. Malkin has also picked up the pace after a slow start with four points, including a pair of goals, in his last five games.
Washington is allowing 3.77 goals/game (30th in NHL). With longtime netminder Braden Holtby now in Vancouver, and offseason acquisition Henrik Lundqvist out for the season after open-heart surgery, uncertainty in net has ensued. Ilya Samsonov was the presumed starter to begin the season but has started just two games due to contracting COVID-19. That’s left 25-year old Vitek Vanecek to shoulder the load (5-3-2 record in 11 starts) after making his NHL debut on Jan. 15.
Nicklas Backstrom leads Washington in goals (7), assists (11) and points (18) this season and scored a goal in Sunday’s loss. Backstrom is the franchise all-time leader in assists (695 – most by any player since entering the league in 2007-08) and is second in team history in points (945) – behind only Alex Ovechkin (1,291).
WHAT: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins
WHERE: PPG Paints Arena
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN (*Blacked out in local markets)
ON THE CALL: John Forslund, Pierre McGuire
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Capitals-Penguins stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Starting goalie: Vitek Vanecek
Starting goalie: Tristan Jarry