It’s finally happening! Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice and will make his return to game action after missing the previous 28 games with a core muscle injury. Crosby’s return comes after two false alarms over the weekend and will take place in front of his home fans as the Penguins face the Minnesota Wild at PPG Paints Arena to conclude the season series between the two teams. Crosby has 17 points (7g, 10a) in 17 games so far this year.
The Penguins will welcome back Crosby graciously despite holding down the fort in his absence. The day before the Penguins’ first game without Crosby (Nov. 11), the team sat in 11th place in the NHL standings, and since then have moved into fourth place . Their 40 points during that span are tied for second overall in the league; trailing only Boston. The Penguins are 8-3-0 in their last 11 games against Minnesota and 10-4-0 in its last 14 games overall. At home, they are 5-1-0 in their last six games versus the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.
The Penguins will turn to Tristan Jarry for his second straight start in net. Jarry is riding an 11-game unbeaten streak (10-0-1) against Western Conference foes dating back to Nov. 25, 2019, where he holds a 2.07 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage. Devan Dubnyk will starts for Minnesota.
The Penguins put an exclamation point on a perfect three-game road trip with a 4-3 SO win against Arizona, Sunday. The win improved the Penguins record in shootouts to 3-0 and capped off the season series sweep of Arizona. The Penguins and Arizona traded goals in the first period to kick start their scoring efforts. Jared McCann (13) opened the scoring for the Penguins 2:43 into action, but Connor Garland found his 15th late in the period to knot things up.
The second period played out similarly to the first as the Penguins broke the tie early, and Arizona tied late. Taylor Hall tied the game up with an odd angle snipe 9:51 into the period after Patric Hornqvist broke the tie four minutes in. Evgeni Malkin sent a feed to Patric Hornqvist, who quickly one-timed the puck from a sharp angle for a power-play goal. In the third period, Arizona used a Derek Stepan one-timer from the slot to take a one-goal lead that felt like it would the game-winner. However, critiqued free agent signing turned fan favorite Brandon Tanev buried a rebound to tie the game late and earn his team at least one point.
In overtime, the Penguins played the majority of the period shorthanded after Teddy Blueger committed a hooking infraction. Despite the man-advantage Arizona could not find the back of the net and the teams went to the shootout, After eight frames of shooters, Teddy Blueger found vindication as he tallied the winner by going blocker side. Tristan Jarry earned the win by stopping 24 of 27 shots and stopping Arizona’s Carl Soderberg in the shootout to snag the victory. Adin Hill made 31 saves for Arizona and performed well in the shootout despite the loss. You can read more about the Penguins game in Dan’s Recap and the PHN Extra Report Card.
Minnesota could not tame Vancouver in an explosive second period that led to 4-1 loss, Sunday. Marcus Foligno (8) scored Minnesota’s only goal of the game in the second as his team was outshot 30-24. Vancouver received two-point efforts from J.T Miller and Bo Horvat while Elias Pettersson also tallied a goal in the win. Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves to edge out Devan Dubnyk in net. Dubnyk stopped 26 of 29 shots.
Brandon Tanev’s game-tying third-period goal on Sunday evening marked his 10th goal of the season. The Penguins lead the NHL with eight 10+ goal scorers.
The points continue to pile up for Evgeni Malkin as he tallied his team-leading 13th multi-point game (2A) against Arizona on Sunday night. Malkin’s 13 multi-point efforts are three more than the next closest Penguin (Jake Guentzel, 10 multi-point games) and tied for the 13th most in the NHL. In those 13 games, Malkin is averaging 2.5 points-per-game (10G-22A-32PTS).
LA (Pro scout)
Pens were scouting LA last week…
— Dan Kingerski (@TheDanKingerski) January 14, 2020
Nick Bjugstad (Core Muscle, skating)
Brian Dumoulin (Ankle, IR)
Justin Schultz (Lower Body, skating)
Jason Zucker (Fibula Fracture, Could Play.)
Greg Pateryn (Lower body)
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||20.5% (14th NHL)||82.5% (8th NHL)|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||24.8% (3rd NHL)||78.0% (23rd NHL)|
Expected Penguins Lines
|Jason Zucker||Sidney Crosby||Dominik Simon|
|Jared McCann||Evgeni Malkin||Bryan Rust|
|Patric Hornqvist||Teddy Blueger||Brandon Tanev|
|Dominik Kahun||Andrew Agozzino||Sam Lafferty|
|Jack Johnson||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||Justin Schultz|
|Juuso Riikola||Chad Ruhwedel|
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