The Pittsburgh Penguins (4-2-0) attempt to unseat another undefeated team as they face the Colorado Avalanche (5-0-0) at PPG Paints Arena, Wednesday. The Penguins after a brief trip on the road return to the friendly confines of their home arena with key wins under their belt. Besides a growing list of injuries which now includes Jared McCann, the Penguins boast one of the most prolific offenses in the league. Colorado remains the only team in the NHL that doesn’t have a loss in either regulation or overtime. Their clean sheet, however, comes with an asterisk as they have only played five games and only one on the road. Wednesday game should provide a litmus test for both teams, who have early Stanley Cup aspirations.
After heeding the net to Tristan Jarry on Sunday, Matt Murray returns to his home crease with a 2.82 goals-against. On the other side, Philipp Grubauer makes his fifth start for Colorado. Grubauer gave up three goals on 32 shots in Colorado’s win in Washington on Monday.
The Penguins scored seven goals in a rout of the Winnipeg Jets, Sunday. The best news of the goal outburst was none were scored by Sidney Crosby, although he did tally two assists. Winnipeg opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game with a Mathieu Perreault (1) shot that somehow found its way into the net after deflecting off a Penguins defender. The goal provided Winnipeg with their only lead of the game as the Penguins were quick to tie and add on. Zach Aston Reese (1,2) scored his first of two goals 3:22 later to send both teams to the first intermission tied.
The Penguins, who have garnered a reputation as a great second-period team, took control of the game in the second frame. The period saw four goals with three of which were scored by Penguins forwards. Jake Guentzel (3,4) broke the tie 7:50 into the period on the power play to snag the early momentum. Sam Lafferty, one day after potting an empty netter for his first NHL goal, scored his second career goal and even beat a goalie this time. Dominik Simon (1) scored late in the period to cancel out Mark Scheifele’s (3) goal at the midway point of the period.
The third period featured three Penguins players scoring their second goals. Lafferty (3) found the net again on a turn around shot to stretch the Penguins lead to three goals. Guentzel and Aston-Reese each had special teams snipes to the ice the cake.
Tristan Jarry turned in an encouraging performance for his first start of the season. Jarry, despite not seeing much action the first two weeks of 2019-20 season, stopped 27 shots. Laurent Brossoit made just 21 saves and surrendered all seven goals in the loss.
Colorado scored four first-period goals against Washington in a 6-3 win, Monday. Erik Johnson (1) kicked off the productive first for Colorado with his first goal of the year while Mikko Rantanen (4) provided the book-end. Washington showed life in the second with goals by Lars Eller (2) and TJ Oshie (4)to chop the deficit to two. The momentum shift was shortlived as Colorado capitalized off a misplay by Ivan Samsonov. Matt Nieto dove to knock in his first goal in a wide-open net and extend the lead back to three. Alex Ovechkin (5) and Nate Mackinnon (2) each added late period goals. Braden Holtby started for Washington and surrendered three goals and made no saves. Ivan Samsonov saved 19 shots in relief.
Scouts in Attendance (8):
Buffalo (assistant GM)
NYR (local scout)
Vegas (Dir. of Player Personnel)
— Dan Kingerski (@TheDanKingerski) October 16, 2019
Sidney Crosby received the NHL Third Star of the Week for the week ending October 13. Crosby put together an impressive stat line of three goals, four assists, and seven points and helped his team to a 3-1 record. The Penguins captain will face his friend and bench press spotter, Wednesday.
Kris Letang became the first defenseman in franchise history to earn 500 career points on Sunday. Letang assisted twice to accomplish the feat and also tallied point 501. The 32-year old defender spoke with PHN’s Shelly Anderson about the accomplishment.
The Penguins will hold a ‘70s theme night, where all fans in attendance will receive “Hanson Brothers glasses,” Wednesday. However, please leave your foil at home.
Bryan Rust (Hand, LTIR)
Zach Trotman (Sports Hernia, IR)
Evgeni Malkin (Lower Body, Long Term)
Nick Bjugstad (Lower Body)
Alex Galchenyuk (Undisclosed, IR)
Jared McCann (Lower Body, DTD)
J.T Compher (Lower Body, IR)
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||21.9% (8th NHL)||82.9% (6th NHL)|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||24.2% (4th NHL)||76.6% (25th NHL)|
Penguins, -110, -10, (U 6.5)
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|