News, notes and quotes as the Capitals (6-1-0, 12 points) face the Pittsburgh Penguins (4-4-0) tonight at Verizon Center (8 p.m., NBCSN):
Where they stand: The Caps have won five straight and sit third in the Metro Division behind the Islanders (13 points) and Rangers (14 points). The Penguins have won four of five after losing their first three games and are in sixth in the Metro.
Who’s in goal: Braden Holtby (5-1-0, 2.03, .917) for the Caps; Maerc-Andre Fleury (4-4-0, 2.02, .932) for the Pens. In eight career games against Pittsburgh Holtby is 3-5-0 with a 2.71 GAA and .915 SP. In 30 games against the Caps, Fleury is 17-10-2 with a 2.50 GAA and .915 SP.
Lady Byng Wilson: Through seven games, right Tom Wilson has no goals and just two assists, but the most surprising number next to his name is 2 – as in penalty minutes. Wilson has led the Caps in penalty minutes the past two seasons (151, 172) but has yet to drop the gloves this season.
“I jinxed myself before the last game,” he said of taking his first minor penalty in Edmonton. “I was looking at the stat sheet and told our trainers I’m going for the Lady Byng.”
Wilson said the biggest reason for his drop in penalty minutes has been his promotion to the third line, where he is facing some of the NHL’s top forwards, and fewer NHL enforcers, in a checking role.
“I’m just trying to play good, solid, clean hockey,” he said. “I’m in a bit of a shutdown role so I can’t go out there taking penalties. I’ve been trying to play hockey and develop my game. We’ve been playing good hockey so there’s no time for shenanigans. Just play a good four-line game. I don’t think you’ll see me staying at 2 for very long, but it’s nice to see you’re not putting your team down.”
Special teams: Ten different Caps have at least one point on the power play (7-for-22, 31.8 percent) this season, led by John Carlson’s five (1 goal, 4 assists). The Penguins (2-for-28, 7.1 percent) have just three players with power play points (Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin, Kris Letang with 2 each).
Injury report: Chris Brown (finger) skated with the Caps today but remains on IR. Beau Bennett (undisclosed) is expected to return to the lineup for the Penguins after missing five games. Meanwhile, former Caps center Eric Fehr said he’s nearing a return from what he called reverse Tommy John surgery on his elbow. He said he believes he’s the first NHL player to undergo such a procedure.
Here are projected lineups for tonight’s showdown:
Injured: Chris Brown (hand)
Injured: Eric Fehr (elbow)