I originally thought the worst news of the day would be we are facing Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. It turns out the Penguins will face AO and the Craps without Evegeni Malkin.
Talk about Sid and Ovechkin all you want...blah blah blah.
The best matchup for tonight is by far the Capitals power play vs. the Penguins Penality kill.
Capitals are first in the NHL with a PP percent of 25.9.
Penguins have the fifth best PK with a percent of 84.9. (24 straight kills)
Caps are 3-6 on the PP vs. the Pens.
Do the math, limit their PP chances and kill the one(s) you give them = victory.
It isn't just AO you have to worry about on the Caps Power Play, Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Laich all have 11 PP goals. Semin has 9 PP goals.
However if you have ever read one of my keys to victory you will note on almost every one of them it says Penguins PP. So pens power play is 22 with a 17.0% and the Caps PK is 79.1% 25th in the NHL. Can we steal some goals from that match up?
Scoring first is always important in my mind. Sidney Crosby leads the league in getting the first goal (12) over Alex Ovechkin (11).
My keys to tonight's game.
1.) Special teams - we must win both areas
2.) Be physical - ramp up the fore check and punish anyone and everyone
3.) Ride the wave - they will come out strong, ride that first wave and then counter punch.