No, you are not stuck in a time loop. The Pittsburgh Penguins conclude their home-and-home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena, Thursday. It is the second Penguins game with Toronto in the last three days. Toronto has its pride to defend as the Penguins spanked the Leafs on Tuesday and the Penguins have a chance to sweep the season series for the first time since 2014-15.
The Penguins remain have a chance to retain first place in the Metropolitan Division with a win and have outscored Toronto 11-3 in its two games this season. In their previous two matchups, the Penguins’ power play (4-4) and penalty kill (6-6) are both a perfect 100%. The Penguins are 6-1-1 in their last eight games against Atlantic Division opponents.
After surrendering five goals in the loss to the Penguins on Tuesday, Toronto turns to Frederik Andersen again in goal. Andersen maintains a 24-12-6 record with 2.97 goals-against. The Penguins turn to Matt Murray against Toronto. Murray is 4-1-1 with a 2.15 goals-against in his last six appearances
The Penguins scored five straight goals to cruise to a 5-2 win against Toronto, Tuesday. Despite a late push by Toronto, the Penguins earned the valuable win to move into first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins kicked off their scoring party early with two first period goals. Sidney Crosby, on way to a four-point night, made a great cross-ice pass to Bryan Rust, who found the top shelf on the power play to give his team the lead 11:41 into action. The Penguins found more offense later in the period as an unlikely hero struck gold. Anthony Angello, playing in place of a sick Evgeni Malkin, positioned himself down low and deflects]ed Sam Lafferty’s shot under the pads for his first career NHL goal. The Penguins exited the period with a lead they would never relinquish.
If the first period was the appetizer, the second proved to be the main course as the Penguins and Toronto combined for five goals in the period. The Penguins improved their lead early in the period as Jason Zucker continued the success that has been found on the top line. Crosby dished to Zucker, who knocks it in off the goal for a power-play goal. The Penguins proved unsatisfied with their lead as they would score twice more over the next 10 minutes. Crosby added another goal on the power play while Teddy Blueger capitalized off a mistake to give the Penguins a commanding 5-0 advantage. Toronto did apply some late second-period pressure with two goals in the last four minutes, but it was the only offense they managed.
Tristan Jarry started in net for the Penguins and continued the stretch of hot goaltending by earning his 20th win of the year. Despite the late second period lapse, Jarry stopped 34 of 36 shots. Frederik Andersen started for Toronto and could not help his team back into the game after a hard first period. Andersen made 19 saves in the loss. You can read more about the Penguins game in Dan’s Recap and the PHN Extra Report Card.
With an assist in Tuesday’s Penguins game, Kris Letang extended his point streak to six games (3G-4A), tying his season-long stretch established during the first six games of the season (Oct. 3-13, 2G-6A).
His trade still garners criticism from the prospect hoarders but, Jason Zucker’s tenure has gotten off to a hot start. He extended his point streak to three games on Tuesday, giving him four points (3G-1A) in four games since joining his new team. It is Zucker’s fourth point streak of three Penguins games this season, and with a point tonight, he can establish a new season-high
Nick Bjugstad (Core Muscle, Skating)
Brian Dumoulin (Ankle, IR)
John Marino (Cheek, 3 to 6 weeks)
Zach Aston-Reese ( Lower body, week to week)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Cody Ceci (Ankle, IR)
Andreas Johnsson (Knee, IR)
Ilya Mikheyev (Wrist Laceration, IR)
Morgan Rielly (Foot, IR)
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||20.3% (16th NHL)||82.4% (7th NHL)|
|New Jersey Devils||17.7% (22nd NHL)||82.0% (10th NHL)|
Expected Penguins Lines
|Jason Zucker||Sidney Crosby||Conor Sheary|
|Patrick Marleau||Evgeni Malkin||Bryan Rust|
|Evan Rodrigues||Jared McCann||Patric Hornqvist|
|Brandon Tanev||Teddy Blueger||Sam Lafferty|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||John Marino|
|Jack Johnson||Justin Schultz|
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