The biggest game of the day obviously belongs to the world of football, with Super Bowl LIV taking place down in Miami. However, the NHL is also providing a pretty big game of their own, with the league-leading Washington Capitals hosting the rival Pittsburgh Penguins in the first meeting of the two teams this year. The Penguins trail the Capitals by just six points with a game in hand for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division and possibly the NHL. The clubs will square off again in three weeks and for a final time two weeks after that in three crucial games for each. Interestingly, each team’s All-Star goalie will sit today, as Ilya Samsonov starts for the Capitals and Matt Murray goes for the Penguins. Pittsburgh is opting to go with experience, choosing Murray over standout rookie Tristan Jarry, while Washington will go with the hot hand, as Samsonov is 11-0-0 with a 1.73 GAA and .936 save percentage while serving as backup to inconsistent starter Braden Holtby. Penguins-Capitals is one of three games on the docket today, all of which begin this afternoon and should be over well before kickoff. Assuming NHL front offices aren’t totally consumed by the Super Bowl themselves, expect the 22 teams not in action to use the off day to tweak their rosters ahead of a new week of games. Keep up with all the action right here:
- After being recalled for last night’s game, Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud has been sent back down to the AHL. He won’t be alone, as the team announced that both Whitecloud and forward Nicolas Roy has been reassigned to the Chicago Wolves. Don’t be surprised if either is back up with the Knights shortly, sent down only as a means of cap savings.
- The Arizona Coyotes announced they have assigned defenseman Kyle Capobianco to the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL. Capobianco was recalled Saturday to fill in against the Blackhawks last night, recording two shots and four hits in 14:44 of ice time.
- The New York Rangers announced they have recalled forward Phillip Di Giuseppe from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL. The 26-year-old wing has received the call on several occasions this year, but has not gotten into a game. He has 14 goals and 26 points in 44 games this year with Hartford. He could have been added as extra insurance in case Chris Kreider has to miss some time after leaving the game on Saturday.