A dream first round matchup for the NHL is showcased tonight as Alex Ovechkin’s Capitals head into Pittsburgh to take on Sidney Crosby’s Penguins. The Caps finally made it over the Pittsburgh hump last season after years of being knocked out of the playoffs by them but it’s very possible that the Penguins will get a shot at revenge this spring in the first round.
The Caps are playing some great hockey right now riding a seven-game win streak and nine wins in their last 10. They’ll look to keep it going tonight and will find success off the rush where they’ve been really strong this year.
The Caps top line of Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, and Ovechkin is especially dangerous in this area. Kuznetsov is 15th in the league in controlled entries with Ovechkin tied for 5th in scoring chances off the rush.
The bad news for the Penguins is that they’ve struggled all year with rush scoring chances.
If the Penguins want to slow down the Caps offense they’re going to need to force dump-ins and keep players like Kuznetsov and Ovechkin to the outside where they’re less dangerous.
Tonight’s game should be an exciting one as both teams are vying for playoff spots and have built up a great rivalry over the last few years. Another chapter in the Crosby vs. Ovechkin saga gets written tonight and could have a similar feeling to a playoff game.
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)