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Penguins Game Preview: Lines, Odds, and Scouts vs. Stars



Pittsburgh Penguins Game vs. Dallas Stars

The Pittsburgh Penguins (5-2-0) game could be a trap Friday. The red hot Penguins hope to avoid fall a trap game as they face the Dallas Stars (1-6-1) at PPG Paints Arena, Friday. The Penguins are on fire as they seek their fifth straight win while Dallas hopes to avoid their fourth loss in a row. Last season, the Penguins were 2-0-0 against Dallas, which included a 5-1 win at “the paint can” on November 21. The Penguins have won three in a row against Dallas and are 4-1-1 in the last six meetings dating back to December 2016. Friday’s game is also the first game of a back-to-back situation for the Penguins; they are 2-0-0 in back-to-backs so far this year.

Matt Murray starts for the Penguins in goal, Friday. Murray holds a 4-2 record with a .914 save percentage. Dallas counters with Anton Khudobin instead of Ben Bishop. In his last start, Khudobin stopped 21 shots in a loss to Washington.

The Penguins handed Colorado their first loss of the year with a 3-2 win in OT, Wednesday. Despite a mounting list of injuries, Sidney Crosby refuses to let his team lose. The  Penguins captain extended his point streak to seven-game on the way to another multipoint effort. Crosby tied the game late in the first period with a spectacular goal after Colorado’s Matt Calvert scored just 3:16 into the game. The play started with a flip of the boards by Crosby to slip past a Colorado defender on his way to the net. Crosby then toe-dragged around Sam Girard and outwaited the goaltender before slapping a shot home with a backhander. The goal immediately ignited the crowd and probably dropped a few jaws in the process. The Penguins and Colorado went to the first intermission tied.

The second period was closely contested, thanks to both goaltenders. The teams traded chances throughout the period, but no one could break the tie until late. Jake Guentzel (5) gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead at the 15:30 mark with a wrist shot over Philipp Grubauer’s glove. Guentzel remains an offensive threat with five goals in his last four games to follow up a 40 goal season last year. The Penguins appeared to hold all the momentum as the period ended and had Colorado on the ropes.

Colorado, in fear of losing their first game of the year, played a spirited third period. The stars for Colorado helped lead their effort in the period, where they outhit and out-chanced the Penguins. After they could not solve Matt Murray in the second period, Colorado finally found the back of the net early in the final frame. Mikko Rantanen found Nate MacKinnon in front of the crease for a wrist shot. MacKinnon’s goal appeared to be payback for a hit in the first period that hobbled him the rest of the game. Despite late period excitement, neither team could prevent overtime.

In overtime, the Penguins ended the game in dramatic fashion. On a penalty kill, Brandon Tanev carried the puck into Colorado’s zone and took a shot that redirected in off the stick of forward Gabriel Landeskog to send the home crowd into a frenzy. Tanev is just the second player in Penguins history to score a shorthanded overtime goal and joined Mario Lemieux in the accomplishing the feat. Penguins Matt Murray made 26 saves in the win while Philipp Grubauer stopped 29 shots in the loss.

You can read more about the OT thriller in Dan’s Recap and the PHN Extra Report Card.

Dallas could not right the ship against Columbus in a 3-2 lost, Wednesday. Columbus jumped out to a two to nothing lead on goals by Zach Werenski (2) and Alexander Wennberg (1). Despite the first period domination, Dallas was able to salvage the period with a goal of their own. Miro Heiskanen (2) scored with a man advantage on a delayed penalty with less than two minutes remaining in the period.  After a scoreless second period, the teams exchanged goals in the third, but Dallas could never pot the tying goal and dropped their sixth of eight-games. Dallas’ Ben Bishop stopped 32 of 35 shots in the loss while Joonas Korpisalo made 30 saves for Columbus.


Fan Favorite Jack Johnson has 20 points in 42 career games against Dallas, his most versus any one team. He is currently eight points away from 300 in his career, but somehow something will be his fault.

Sidney Crosby remains one of just four players in the NHL to record points in all of their team’s games this season, joining Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (6 games) and Mikko Rantanen (6 games) and Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (7 games).

Brandon Tanev continues to be a special teams maven. Besides his shorthanded goal on Wednesday, Tanev continues to draw penalties at a large clip, and over the last three seasons, only Arizona’s Michael Grabner and Calgary’s Mark Jankowski have scored more shorthanded goals than Tanev’s six.



Pittsburgh Penguins

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)

Dallas Stars

Blake Comeau (Lower Body, IR)

Martin Hanzal (Back, LTIR)

Stephen Johns (Headaches, IR)

Roman Polak (Fractured Sternum)

Special Teams

TEAMPower PlayPenalty Kill
Pittsburgh Penguins13.6% (9-66) 26th NHL91.4% (5-58) 1st NHL
Vancouver Canucks18.1% (15-83) 16th NHL64.5% (27-76) 32nd NHL

Betting Odds

Penguins, -110, -10, (U 6.5)

Expected Lines

Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyEvan Rodrigues
Jason Zucker Jeff CarterDanton Heinen
Brock McGrinnTeddy BluegerKasperi Kapanen
Zach Aston-ReeseDrew O'ConnorDominik Simon
Brian DumoulinKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJohn Marino
Mike Matheson Chad Ruhwedel
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith

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