The reputation for Consol Energy Center has been this: The ice is constantly bad and some of the true hockey fans that made Civic Arena such a raucous place have been phased out due to how expensive it is to go to a game at CEC. It is was it is when you have a new arena and such a high demand. Things become more corporate.
Despite those factors, Consol Energy Center has become an extremely tough place to play but it’s more about the team than any other factors such as energy from the fans as some of those fans are gone and Mellon Arena was just one of those old barns where the atmosphere was much different as players from opposing teams would often say that at Mellon the fans felt like they were right on top of you.
The Penguins enter tonight’s game 19-3-0 at home this season and are looking for their team record 13th straight win at home. Pittsburgh is 39-9 in their last 48 games at home. Bad ice and weak atmosphere or not, it’s had no affect on the Penguins.
“Keep thinking back, couple times when we opened this place, when we didn’t get the wins here and was question of jinx from across the street for not winning here. Now this place is such a tough place to play and place where we get a lot of wins,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “I think teams come into this building and know it’s going to be a tough ride, tough time…….. It’s a tough place to play.”
Since the 2009-2010 season, the Penguins have been just as big of disappointments in the post-season as Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals.
Since the 2010 playoffs, Pittsburgh is 20-21 in the post-season……Washington is 17-20 in the post-season…..
NEUVIRTH GOES FOR CAPITALS
With Philipp Grubauer playing last night against San Jose, the Capitals will start Michael Neuvirth in goal tonight. Neuvirth is 3-3-1 with a 2.72 GAA and .916 save percentage on the season.
Neuvirth has made just four starts since October 29th but has been very strong in his career vs Penguins. Neuvirth is 2-0-2 with a 1.71 GAA, .937 save percentage, 2 shutouts in his career vs the Penguins.
Braden Holtby has been a disaster in his career vs Penguins, going 0-4 with a .857 save percentage and 4.38 GAA.