We are just one day away from the much anticipated 2011 Winter Classic, the Washington Capitals versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hockey takes center stage with the big battle between hated rivals and between Alexander Ovechkin versus Sidney Crosby.
The Capitals have rebounded from a 8 game losing streak to have won 4 of their last 5 games. Pittsburgh meanwhile has lost 2 of their last 3 and the 25 game point streak for Sidney Crosby came to an end Wednesday night in the Pens 2-1 over time loss tot he New York Islanders.
Washington has found its resurgence on the back of secondary line scoring. However, the Great 8, Alexander Ovechkin, has also turned on the scoring, registering 6 points in his last 6 games. Mike Green has also ramped it up for the Caps, after a slow start, putting together a 3 game point streak and 2 goals in his last 3 games. Even better for the Caps, goalies Semyon Varlamov has hit his stride, recording a shutout over Montreal on Tuesday and winning two straight. He has allowed 4 goals over his last 3 games.
One thing that still bothers the Capitals, despite winning 4 of their last 5, is finding consistent success on the once vaunted power play. Caps had 6 power play opportunities against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday,m but failed to covert a single man advantage opportunity. Over the past 5 games, the Caps are 2-26 on the power play. Pretty pathetic. Too much passing, not enough net presence. But, that has been the story all year on the power play. Caps need to figure it out. On the other hand, the Capitals penalty kill has been exceptional, killing 23 of 24 power play opportunities for their opponents. A different take for two different special team units.
The big question is, can the Washington Capitals find the successful power play against the Penguins at Heinz Field tomorrow?
Current weather forecast for Pittsburgh tomorrow is high temperature of 49 degrees and 80% chance of rain. This should get real interesting.