EDMONTON, Alberta — The Pittsburgh Penguins (4-0-1) have won four of their first five games and scored 26 goals in the process. Captain Sidney Crosby is among the NHL scoring leaders with 10 points (3-7-10), the Penguins’ defensemen are among the leaders for points by defensemen (20), and goalie Tristan Jarry is turning aside more than 94% of shots. Monday, they face the Edmonton Oilers (2-3-0) at Rogers Place.
The puck drops just after 8 p.m. EST (6 p.m. in Edmonton).
The Penguins placed Teddy Blueger on LTIR and recalled Sam Poulin and Drake Caggiula on Sunday. Poulin could make his NHL debut, although it’s more likely that Caggiula, a winger, will slot beside Ryan Poehling on the fourth line. Caggiula played three seasons with Edmonton.
Mike Sullivan said it will be a gametime decision.
The Penguins don’t feel like they’ve played a great game yet.
“The reality is, there’s been some good and some not so good in every game that we’ve played. And we’re trying to point out those areas to our team where we encourage them in the areas we’ve shown the ability to be good,” Sullivan said. “But there’s been other areas where we know we’ve got to get better if we’re going to sustain winning hockey games.”
Starts have been an issue. Despite scoring six goals in each of their four wins, the Penguins have been on their heels in first periods.
Of course, if the team knew what has been going wrong, it would fix it. Instead, they’ll focus on the issue in an attempt course-correct.
Scoring six goals is a pretty good fix to any problem. As Dave Molinari noted on Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins are showing few flaws, except for a little problem of their stars being attacked. The issue was again highlighted last Thursday against the LA Kings when Brendan Lemieux cheap-shotted winger Jake Guentzel without recompense.
Tristan Jarry will start in goal tonight. The Penguins will visit the Calgary Flames Tuesday, so Casey DeSmith likely will start then, since Sullivan typically uses his backup goalie in the second game of back-to-backs.
Of course, the game tonight will be featured for the marquee matchup: Sidney Crosby vs. Connor McDavid. An all-time great vs. an all-time great in waiting. Both players have 10 points, but McDavid ranks ahead because he has five goals.
Former Penguins defenseman Cody Cedi is on the Oilers’ top pairing with Darnell Nurse.
Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Jason Zucker||Evgeni Malkin||Rickard Rakell|
|Danton Heinen||Ryan Poehling||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Brock McGinn||Sam Poulin||Drew O'Connor|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||Jeff Petry|
|P.O Joseph||Jan Rutta|
Edmonton Oilers Lines, per Puckpedia.com
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||24.1% (7-29, 11th)||72% (7-25, 28th)|
|Vancouver Canucks||22.2% (6-27, 17th)||60% (10-25, 32nd)|
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes
*The Penguins have points in 19 of their last 21 games against the Oilers (15-2-4) dating back to Dec. 5, 2007.
*The Penguins historically do well on their western Canada trip. Since 2007, they are 21-6-6, which includes a 8-3-4 record in the last five trips.
*Evgeni Malkin has 17 points (7-10-17) in 17 career games against Edmonton.
*The Penguins have outscored their opponents, 26-11, through five games. Their plus-15 goal differential and 5.20 goals-per-game average both lead the league.
*Fourteen Penguins have at least one goal this season. Only Columbus (15) has more.
*Four Penguins had multiple points Saturday: Sidney Crosby (1-2-3), Danton Heinen (2-0-2), Jan Rutta (1-1-2) and Kasperi Kapanen (0-2-2).
*The game was also Crosby’s 162nd career three-point game, tying Gordie Howe for the 10th-most in NHL history. Crosby trails Jarri Kurri (164) and Paul Coffey (169) for ninth and eighth, respectively.
How to Watch:
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Radio: 105.9 The X