The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins have played three highly-contested games so far this season, all of which have been decided by one goal. Sunday, the Caps and Pens end their season series as the former ends a three-game road trip in Pittsburgh.
Washington is coming off its second 3-0 defeat this week to the Carolina Hurricanes Friday. In fact, the Caps have played in three consecutive 3-0 games; they lost to the New York Islanders by that score Tuesday, but defeated the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday. The idle Caps fell out of first place in the Southeast Division Saturday with the Florida Panthers' shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets and now sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference entering Sunday.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has won five straight with its last loss coming to Washington January 11. The Penguins are in sixth place in the East, four points ahead of the Caps.
The key for the Caps Sunday is finding a way to stop Evgeni Malkin, who has 10 points (eight goals) during the Penguins' five-game winning streak. Marc-Andre Fleury will likely make his 21st consecutive appearance.