WASHINGTON — Even though they are playing their best hockey of the season Colorado Avalanche Hats Authentic , expect the Washington Capitals to find a little something extra in the tank Wednesday when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town for the next chapter in this storied rivalry.“It’s always something you kind of look forward to and know about,” Washington coach Todd Reirden told reporters. “Our players are excited to play against them. It’s always a good challenge.”The Capitals have won five straight games to solidify first place atop the Metropolitan Division behind the continued excellence of Alexander Ovechkin, who has seven goals in his last three games and 29 on the season.Article continues below ...“Of course, you want to have as many points as you can,” Ovechkin said after practice Monday. “But I always say, you can’t score every game. You can’t make points every night. It’s hard. The league is hard right now. If you get a point or you get a goal, you get (lucky). … I just try to do my best.”Ovechkin’s best has been more than enough for the Capitals Custom Colorado Avalanche Jerseys , as their captain’s play is raising everyone’s level during a run in which they’ve won 12 of 13.“The players are making it difficult for our staff to pick the guys who should be playing each night and that’s a good thing,” Reirden said. “That internal competition that we have going on right now is something that’s allowed us to have the type of success we’ve had the last 24, 25 games. It’s a good thing. It’s a good problem to have.”The Penguins have righted the ship after a slow start, going 8-4-2 over their last 14 games, but they remain inconsistent, as evidenced in a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday in which they squandered a two-goal lead.The loss highlighted a persistent problem for Pittsburgh: the second period. In their 18 defeats, the Penguins have a minus-18 goal differential.“Hopefully we can eliminate some of the bad periods here and get back on a substantial winning streak www.officialbluejackets.com ,” Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith told reporters after Monday’s game. “It’s just part of the game. We have to do a little bit better job of managing it and we’ll be in good shape.”While Braden Holtby figures to get the start for Washington, the Penguins goaltending situation remains fluid between DeSmith and Matt Murray, especially given the team’s busy schedule over the next few weeks.“We’re trying to keep them both at their best by keeping them well-rested and sharp,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told the team’s website. “Looking at the big picture this week, both of them are going to get a significant amount of playing time.”This is already the third game of the season between the Penguins and Capitals, with the teams splitting the prior two games. Pittsburgh won a 7-6 thriller on Oct. 4, while Washington captured a 2-1 victory on Nov. 7.“Yeah Columbus Blue Jackets T-Shirts Authentic , it’s a big rivalry, with lots of emotion,” Ovechkin said. “Fans get involved. You guys. It’s a fun time to play.” San Jose Sharks (43-22-8, second in the Pacific Division) vs. Los Angeles Kings (25-39-8, eighth in the Pacific Division)Los Angeles; Thursday, 10:30 p.m. EDTBOTTOM LINE: Los Angeles hosts San Jose looking to end its five-game home losing streak.The Kings are 16-20-4 against Western Conference opponents. Los Angeles is last in the Western Conference averaging just 6.2 points per game. Anze Kopitar leads them with 51 total points.The Sharks are 15-5-3 in division play. San Jose is second in the league averaging 3.6 goals per game, led by Joe Pavelski with 37. In their last meeting on Jan. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets Hoodies Authentic , San Jose won 3-1. Erik Karlsson recorded a team-high 3 points for the Sharks in the victory.TOP PERFORMERS: Kopitar leads the Kings with 20 goals, adding 31 assists and collecting 51 points. Dustin Brown has scored six goals over the last 10 games for Los Angeles.LAST 10 GAMES: Sharks: 6-4-0, averaging 3.3 goals, 5.3 assists, four penalties and 11.2 penalty minutes while giving up three goals per game with a .897 save percentage.Kings: 2-7-1, averaging 2.2 goals, 3.7 assists Columbus Blue Jackets Hats Authentic , 3.2 penalties and 8.6 penalty minutes while giving up 3.6 goals per game with a .882 save percentage.Kings Injuries: None listed.Sharks Injuries: Erik Karlsson: out (lower body), Radim Simek: out (lower body), Joe Pavelski: out (undisclosed).