Washington
Capitals
23-46-10-3
Pittsburgh
Penguins
23-47-8-4

30 SOG
33 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
WSH
PIT
game preview

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Sunday, 04.04.2004 / 3:00 PM

Associated Press

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Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Capitals-Penguins Preview

GAME: Washington Capitals (23-45-10-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (22-47-8-4).

TIME: Sunday, 3 p.m. EDT.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have already clinched the worst record in the NHL. They'll have to wait until Tuesday to see if that translates into the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

The Penguins will first conclude the regular season against the visiting Washington Capitals.

With 59 points, the Capitals are tied with the Chicago for 28th in the NHL. The Blackhawks finish their season against the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

Since the Capitals already have three more victories than the Blackhawks, they would finish 28th if the teams have the same number of points at season's end.

The draft lottery, which takes place Tuesday, gives the 30th-place team a 25 percent chance to win. Under the weighted system, the winning club may not move up more than four spots; therefore, only the teams with the five worst records can earn the No. 1 pick.

The Penguins snapped a three-game winless streak Friday with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. Jean-Sebastien Aubin stopped 31 shots in his final start of the season.

Left winger Kelly Buchberger said the Penguins are not concerned about finishing with the league's worst record.

"Whatever happens, happens," Buchberger said. "There's nothing that we can really control."

The Capitals, who beat the Penguins 4-2 on Tuesday, are winless in their last two games. After tying Boston 3-3 on Thursday, Washington lost to the New York Rangers 3-2 on Saturday.

Leading scorer Jeff Halpern had two goals - the first time this season he's had more than one. He has 20 points in his last 19 games.

"It hasn't been a whole lot of fun this year," Halpern said. "When you're losing games, it doesn't make any of the (individual stats) feel any good."

STANDINGS: Capitals - 59 points, 5th place, 47 PB, Southeast Division. Penguins - 56 points, 5th place, 44 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Capitals - Halpern, 19 goals, 25 assists and 44 points; Darcy Verot, 135 PIM. Penguins - Ryan Malone, 22 goals; Dick Tarnstrom, 36 assists and 52 points; Brooks Orpik, 127 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through April 2): Capitals - Power play: 19.5 percent (64 for 329), 6th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.3 percent (318 for 391), 26th. Penguins - Power play: 18.3 percent (65 for 355), 7th. Penalty killing: 77.2 percent (284 for 368), 30th.

GOALTENDERS: Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (19-34-9, 2 SO, 2.89 GAA); Matthew Yeats (1-2-0, 0, 2.71). Penguins - Sebastien Caron (8-24-5, 1, 3.76); Aubin (7-9-0, 1, 2.98).

SEASON SERIES: Capitals, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Tuesday; Capitals, 4-2. At Washington, Trent Whitfield had two goals and an assist to help goalie Yeats earn his first NHL victory.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Capitals - 10-25-4-1 on the road; Penguins - 12-22-6-0 at home.


Associated Press
2003-2004 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 04 '04WSH 3 at PIT 4M. Kraft
Mar 30 '04PIT 2 at WSH 4T. Whitfield
Mar 16 '04WSH 1 at PIT 4M. Eastwood
Jan 18 '04PIT 3 at WSH 4J. Halpern
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%