The Pittsburgh Penguins (6-3-3) are winless in their last three games and will host the New Jersey Devils (5-5-1) who have lost three straight at PPG Paints Arena Monday, 7 p.m. The Penguins held a full practice Sunday, but Phil Kessel was given the day off. Derick Brassard is still injured and is not skating. The Penguins placed Brassard on IR.
Kessel returned skated, Monday morning as part of the Penguins optional skate. Patric Hornqvist may remain beside center Evgeni Malkin, however, as the Penguins search for balance.
Saturday, the Penguins were flattened by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Penguins were beaten in nearly every way. If you missed the game or the analysis, check the PHN Analysis and Recap. Our Dan Kingerski was fair but still issues a couple F grades.
Also, read Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s thank you to the city of Pittsburgh for its response to the Tree of Life Synagogue.
The Penguins shuffled their lines throughout the match with Toronto. Such experimenting will be the case until the Penguins find at least three lines capable of consistent production or play. Riley Sheahan is the defacto third center until the Brassard returns, but that may be short-lived if the trends continue. Read more on that.
Defenseman Jack Johnson played the second half of the game, Saturday with Kris Letang. And it appears Juuso Riikola will draw in, tonight. However, defense pairings rotated, Sunday.
The New Jersey Devils demoted 2015 first-round pick, and sixth overall selection, Pavel Zacha to the AHL. Zacha has not yet found his footing in the NHL and was scoreless in 10 games this season. Zacha has just 51 points in 150 career games.
The Devils were 3-0-1 against the Penguins last season. The Penguins were 1-2-1 against the Devils (loser points).
UPDATE: The Penguins will keep Kessel with Malkin. Hornqvist will skate with Sheahan on the third line.
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|