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Pens Points: Capitals Come to Town

Washington rolls into Pittsburgh on the back of a seven-game winning streak. Can the Penguins play streak breaker once again and boost their playoff odds?

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Another long win streak marches into PPG Paints Arena later tonight when the Washington Capitals roll into town as winners of seven-straight. This will mark the first meeting between the two sides since December 19 in Washington, where the Penguins prevailed 2-1 and launched a winning streak of their own. There will be more than just bragging rights on the line tonight, as each side battles for playoff positioning.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on AT&T Sports Network.

Catch up on the latest news before puck drop with Pens Points...

Just over two weeks ago, the Penguins were reeling from a shocking overtime loss against the Philadelphia Flyers following a late collapse. It was the perfect recipe to send the season off the rails, but the Penguins have rebounded and put themselves back in a playoff position. [Pensburgh]

A large part of this run the Penguins are on since the Stadium Series debacle is the play of goaltender Matt Murray. His two softies were the reason the Flyers were able to pull off that dramatic comeback, but head coach Mike Sullivan has shown his faith in Murray, which is paying off big time. [Pensburgh]

Last April, a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos to a playoff game in Canada was struck by a truck, tragically killing 16 on board. Those who did survive the crash had their life altered in ways they can never imagine. One survivor, Layne Matechuk, is a huge fan of Sidney Crosby and will get a chance to meet the Penguins’ captain Tuesday. [Pensburgh]

Sunday’s win against the Boston Bruins came at a high cost. Zach Aston-Reese was lost during the second period to a lower-body injury and did not return. It looks like Aston-Reese may miss some time now that the Penguins have recalled Joseph Blandisi from the AHL. [Trib Live]

While Phil Kessel and Patric Hornqvist are mired in scoring droughts, the Penguins have utilized the services of their younger wingers like Jake Guentzel and Dominik Simon to provide much needed offense as they continue their push towards a playoff spot. [Trib Live]

Since coming over from the Florida Panthers last month, Jared McCann is looking like a steal for the Penguins. His strong play up and down the lineup is showing the team they may have something to build on with the young winger now and in the future. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Carl Hagelin was injured when his then-team, the Los Angeles Kings, came to Pittsburgh back in December. Now a member of the Washington Capitals following a trade, Hagelin will return to Pittsburgh for the first time, and he knows it will be a little weird going up against his old teammates as a member of their biggest rival. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

College hockey season is coming to a close, and some teams have already concluded their campaigns. This means some players will become unrestricted free agents, able to sign with any team they so desire. The Penguins have found success signing overagers in the past and hope that can continue with the addition of Jake Lucchini from Michigan Tech. [Pensburgh]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers put together a strong showing last week and was rewarded with NHL First Star of the Week honors for this work. Ben Bishop of the Dallas Stars and Troy Terry of the Anaheim Ducks were named the second and third stars respectively. [NHL]

Quinn Hughes, brother of 2019 top prospect Jack Hughes, signed a three-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks over the weekend. Hughes was drafted No. 7 overall by the Canucks at the 2018 NHL Draft and played his college hockey at the University of Michigan. [Canucks]