Former Caps coach Boudreau still keeping an eye on Penguins

| Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is in the Western Conference now, which means his Ducks only play the Penguins one time per season. However, the former Washington Capitals coach still keeps close tabs on the team that was once his biggest rival.

"It's hard not to get gravitated to that team," Boudreau said. "They're an exciting team, and a powerful (team). They're on every highlight. These guys are good. No ifs, ands or buts about it."

Like the rest of the NHL, Boudreau has been captivated by Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, the league's leading scorer.

"He is on quite a run," Boudreau said. "I just hope he has the flu or something (Wednesday)."

And while Malkin is playing the most productive hockey of his career, Boudreau isn't ready to call this recent run Malkin's best. Boudreau, who admitted recently that the Capitals' Game 7 loss to the Penguins in the 2009 second round Stanley Cup playoff series was the most bitter defeat of his career, went a few games further back in that series.

"I keep looking back to Game 3," Boudreau said of Malkin in that series. "If he's better than that, we're not going out (on the ice)."

> > Penguins right wing Arron Asham took part in the Penguins' optional morning skate but remains out of the lineup after sustaining a concussion last month. He wants to play this weekend, but his availability remains uncertain.

> > Anaheim's visit marked the Ducks' first game at Consol Energy Center. The Nashville Predators are the only NHL team that hasn't played at the Penguins' new home. Nashville visits Consol Energy Center on March 22.

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