5 NHL questions: Penguins-Capitals meet for top spot in Metropolitan division


A daily feature that asks five questions about today's biggest action. Will they be answered? (That doesn't count as one of the five questions.)

1. Will Penguins-Capitals live up to the hype?

It's always a big deal when Pittsburgh and Washington get together, and that is especially true on Wednesday when the two teams meet for the first time this season. The big four players are all healthy and in the lineup (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom) and first place in the division is on the line. Can this one possibly live up to the hype?

2. Will Evgeni Malkin score a goal?

Even though he's been playing strong hockey and piling up a lot of assists (he's assisted on 10 of Pittsburgh's past 18 goals), Malkin remains stuck on three goals this season and hasn't scored one in 14 games, and even that one was an empty-net goal. He hasn't scored a goal with a goalie in net in 15 games. Will that streak end on Wednesday?

3. Will the Devils score more than three goals?

In 12 road games this season the Devils have scored more than three goals just two times (they scored four both times, and in one of those games the fourth goal came by way of a shootout win). It's probably no surprise then that they have only won three games away from the Prudential Center this season. Can they find some offense in Anaheim?

4. Will a return home help Anaheim snap its four-game losing streak?

The Ducks are one of the best teams in the NHL so far this season but their most recent four-game road trip was not particularly kind to them. They lost all four games and were outscored 13-6. Can a return home against the Devils get them out of their funk?

5. Can Columbus shake off its terrible performance in Edmonton on Tuesday?

The Blue Jackets complete their trip through Alberta with a game in Calgary on Wednesday, and they're looking to rebound from what was a truly dreadful effort in Edmonton on Tuesday. Columbus lost 7-0 and was outshot 32-14. The good news: They don't have to wait long to get that taste out of their mouth.

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