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Saturday Caps Clips: Capitals @ Penguins Game Day

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Previews of tonight's battle against the Pens, with a couple of new Caps visiting their old home, and more.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Previews of tonight's battle in the 'Burgh from VogsNHL.comAP, the Pens, and be sure to visit our SB Nation pals over at Pensburgh for the other side of tonight's matchup
    • Tonight will mark the first visit back to Pittsburgh for former Penguins Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen and assistant coach Todd Reirden. Y'know, in case you forgot where they used to work. [WaPo]
    • Niskanen left the familiarity of the Penguins for money and opportunity and DC - and he's feeling the pressure that comes with that big contract. [TribLive]
    • Orpik played a big role with the Penguins since being drafted in 2000. Tonight he'll play a less familiar role: visitor. [Post-Gazette]
    • Add two more Penguins to the list of swollen-faced mumps victims... here's hoping the Caps packed plenty of hand sanitizer. [WaPoTribLIVE]
    • With or without the mumps, the Penguins serve as yet another measuring stick for the Caps. [WaPo]
  • Back on December 3rd, Barry Trotz called out his troops for a lack of commitment - and that kick in the pants has them on a 7-1-2 run since. [CSNW]
  • One regulation win in your last ten games will get you a spot on the NHL power rankings. [NHL.com]
  • The world of World Juniors:
    • Defensive prospect Madison Bowey picked up two assists in his tournament debut, helping Team Canada roll to an 8-0 win over Slovakia. [BrooksLaichyearToronto SunNational PostIIHF]
    • Bowey and the rest of the Canadians are looking to get back on top of the podium after a five-year gold medal drought. [Hockey's Future]
    • Meanwhile, Caps' 2014 draft pick Jakub Vrana scored two goals - and was selected as the Czech team's player of the game - in a losing effort against the Swedes. [iSport.czIIHF]
      • A player with high-end skill who is prone to inconsistency? Must be a Caps prospect. [RMNB]
    • And they may not have any future Caps in their ranks, but let's hear it for Team USA, who opened the tournament with a shootout victory over Finland. U-S-A! [NHL.comIIHF]
    • For those playing along at home, here are the WJC Fancystats. That Czech SV%? That was 5 goals allowed on 27 shots by Caps' second-rounder Vitek Vanecek. [CHL Stats]
  • Winter Classic updates: 
    • Let's check in on the weather report, shall we? Things are starting to look good, with a cold, dry day in the forecast for January 1. [WaPo]
    • Breaking down the matchup between the captains: Alex Ovechkin vs. Jonathan Toews. [THW]
  • Jay Beagle is becoming an offensive powerhouse. Yes, that Jay Beagle. [RMNB]
  • Alex Ovechkin's date with an adorable little girl checks in as one of the year's most heartwarming moments. [Puck Daddy]