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Posted at 02:05 PM ET, 12/01/2011

Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma: ‘You always circle the calendar and know when you’re playing the Capitals’

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will start in net tonight at Verizon Center, and captain Sidney Crosby will face Washington for the first time since suffering a concussion in January.

In other lineup news from Pittsburgh's morning skate, it also appears that the Penguins will be without big-minute defensemen Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek, who are sidelined with head injuries. As a result, the Caps and their struggling offense could see Penguins rookies Robert Bortuzzo and Simon Despres as a third pairing.

Here are some other notes from F Street to get you ready for tonight’s tilt:

— The Caps are 12-1-2 with two shootout losses against the Pens since 2008.

Reminded of that, Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma smiled, turned to the reporter and said sarcastically, “Thank you.”

Then someone in the back of the media scrum coughed and said under their breath, “Cup.”

To which Byslma cracked, “And thank you.”

Then the Pens coach turned serious and added: “I wish it was better. … There’s nothing I’d like to do than start changing that record around tonight.”

— Bylsma said the Capitals’ coaching change this week means he and his staff only had tape from Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to St. Louis to use for scouting purposes.

“You always circle the calendar and know when you’re playing the Capitals,” he said. “It’s tough to know what to expect from their team systems-wise. But we know we’re playing a good team. We know we’re playing Alexander Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin. We’re expecting an energized team.”

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By  |  02:05 PM ET, 12/01/2011

 
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