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Pens Points: Capitals Game Day

Pens are in the nation's capital for one final time this regular season.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning one and all,

Pens will face the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center one more time before the regular season comes to a close. Couple more games and the conference #1 spot may have been in jeopardy. Game preview here. [Fox Sports]

The Caps are on a 20-9-4 clip since the blizzard on January 23 canceled out their Pens game. Pens went 23-8-1 since, so just a bit better but the narrative that the Caps have majorly cooled off is wrong. [Washington Post]

Pens have signed goaltender Sean Maguire to a two-year, entry-level contract. As Seth Rorabaugh astutely noted, with this signing, all nine members of the Pens' 2012 draft class are on NHL deals. [PPG]

Eric Fehr has definitely given the Pens bottom six a new look. A highly useful player even if not the flashiest of stars. [Empty Netters]

Under Mike Sullivan, the Pens have embraced an effective version of the chip-and-chase tactic, which is tailored to their particular skill sets. [Trib]

I'm kind of tired of this conversation but people are still writing articles about this so here goes: why, statistically speaking, Erik Karlsson deserves the Norris. [TSN]

Kris Letang is making his case as powerfully as anyone, though it probably won't make a difference since people have made up their minds. [PPG]

The minds don't seem to be made up for Karlsson, though. If Bob McKenzie's straw poll is to be believed, Drew Doughty will win in a landslide. Actual, literal landslide. [TSN]

Jonathan Drouin was recalled by Tampa, and that is a very fortunate development for him. He shines here and all will probably be forgotten. [ESPN]

The Red Wings inched closer to a playoff berth by shutting out the Flyers 3-0. This means the Flyers will have to actually play hockey on Saturday, which is not a bad thing. [Winging It in Motown]

Three days before the OHL draft, the league came down hard on the owner of the maligned Flint Firebirds. The punishment also includes dock of a first-round pick, which is a stupid way to punish the team for the fact that its owner is a scumbag. [TSN]

Another example that doping in Russia is as systemic as breathing. Days before the U18 Worlds, their ENTIRE U18 team was chucked for positive meldonium tests and replaced by U17 players. They gave meldonium to kids as part of daily routine (check Slava Malamud's timeline). They fired the coach, though, so that takes care of the problem, right? [Globe & Mail]