Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins Preview

Superstar captain Sidney Crosby and the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins aim to inch closer to the first-place Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon when the Metropolitan Division rivals meet for the first time this season. The Penguins, who reside six points behind the Capitals, improved to 18-5-1 in their last 24 games on Friday after Crosby capped a three-point performance (one goal, two assists) by scoring 55 seconds into overtime of a 4-3 win over Philadelphia.

Crosby has collected 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in six games since returning from a two-month absence following abdominal surgery. Fellow former Hart Trophy recipient Evgeni Malkin boosted his point total to 14 (five goals, nine assists) over his last nine games after scoring a goal and setting up two others on Friday.

Washington Capitals Preview

The Washington Capitals vie for their sixth win in seven outings on Sunday afternoon when they open a four-game homestand against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Superstar captain Alex Ovechkin moved past Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Messier into eighth place on the NHL’s all-time career goals list with 695 after tallying twice in Washington’s 5-3 win at Ottawa on Friday.

A three-time Hart Trophy recipient, Ovechkin has erupted for 11 of his club-best 37 goals over his last five games. John Carlson set up a pair of tallies on Friday to claim the franchise record for most assists by a defenseman (362). Carlson collected 12 of his team-leading 49 assists in January.