Capitals fans will likely see a major milestone when Washington hosts the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
Captain Alex Ovechkin needs one point to hit 1,000 for his career. His fellow captain, Sidney Crosby, is sitting at 982, though in 139 less games. Ovechkin will become the 84th player in NHL history to hit the 1,000-point mark, and the second-fastest active player to do so behind only former Penguin and Capital Jaromir Jagr.
Ovechkin has 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 points in 40 games so far this season. Overall, he has 544 goals and 455 assists in 879 games. In a swap of their normal roles, Crosby has been the more prolific scorer this season with 26 goals and 18 assists for 44 points in 33 games. Crosby has 364-618-982 in 740 games. Both superstars, who broke into the NHL together back in 2005-06, will hit the 1,000-mark in the same season.
The two teams have played twice, with the Penguins winning in overtime in the season-opener and the Capitals winning 7-1 in mid-November. Washington has a six-game winning streak while the Penguins are riding a five-game streak.
- Tyler Myers will be away from the Winnipeg Jets for an unknown amount of time, as the defenseman deals with a personal matter, according to Scott Billeck, who covers the Jets for the Winnipeg News and the NHL. Billeck reports that Myers had been travelling with the team, but left the team sometime last week while the team was in Florida. Myers has been out of the lineup since mid-November with a back injury. He has two goals and five points in 11 games played.
- It’s been a nightmare of a season for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Steven Stamkos is likely out until the playoffs, but there’s no guarantee that the Lightning can survive that long. Currently, they have 42 points, four back of a playoff spot. While that’s not a big deficit, the Lightning have lost four games in a row for the second time this season, and are battling several key injuries. Stamkos, Brayden Point, Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle, J.T. Brown, Braydon Coburn, and Ben Bishop are all out of the lineup. The Lightning are facing the end of their current roster’s window of Cup contention, with Bishop, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Jonathan Drouin all needing new contracts. GM Steve Yzerman won’t be able to sign all of his pending free agents, and the team needs to go for it this year. TSN’s Bob McKenize reports that Yzerman is willing to deal nearly “just about anybody” up front, besides Drouin in order to acquire a top-four defenseman (interview transcribed by Chris Nichols of FanRag). Kevin Shattenkirk, Michael Stone, and Dougie Hamilton have all had their names out there this season, and are potential targets for Yzerman to go for. The former two are pending free agents while the latter has been the subject of rumors all year, despite Brian Burke’s insistence that he’s not available for less than 20 first-round picks.
- The Edmonton Oilers are on pace for 94 points, which would be their first season above 90 points since 2005-06, when they went to the Stanley Cup Finals. Despite their fancy new digs, the Oilers are just 9-8-2 at home. OilersNation’s Robin Brownlee gave a startling statistic: the Oilers have won just 86 of their last 207 home games. Brownlee writes that the Oilers need to improve their home record if they want to solidify a playoff spot, seeing as 13 of their last 18 games of the season are at home. The Oilers are on pace to make the playoffs, in spite of their home record, not because of it.