The injuries continued to pile up as the Pittsburgh Penguins (1-2-0) prepared for their game against the Anaheim Ducks (3-0-0) at PPG Paints Arena, Thursday. The Penguins want continuity in their lineup but will be without Alex Galchenyuk, who was projected to be a significant part of their line up in 2019-20. They may also be without Patric Hornqvist who is a game-time decision.
The Penguins depleted lineup paired with Anaheim’s undefeated record could provide the “gut check” the Penguins need to navigate themselves out of these early season choppy waters. Tonight concludes a four-game homestand for the Penguins. They embark to Minnesota and Winnipeg for back-to-back games this weekend.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray starts his fourth straight game Thursday. Murray is one shutout away from tying Les Binkley for the third-most shutouts in club history (11). John Gibson starts for Anaheim. Gibson is tied for the highest career SV% (.922) among all-time NHL goaltenders with at least 200 games played.
The Penguins started hot but finished lukewarm against Winnipeg in a 4-1 loss, Tuesday. The Penguins could not overcome another wave of injuries and seemed to be disjointed at times. Sidney Crosby (1) scored for the first time this season. Crosby deposited a Jake Guentzel feed just 32 seconds in the game to provide an early spark. Winnipeg quickly responded with two goals in the first period to take a 2-1 lead thanks to Ville Heinola (1) and Nikolaj Ehlers (1). Winnipeg extended their lead twice in the second to account for the scoring in the game.
Tucker Poolman snagged a loose puck in the high slot and threaded it home through traffic while Neil Pionk (2) outworked three Penguins around the net to shovel home his second goal of the season. Although neither player scored both Patrick Laine and Mark Scheifele collected three assists in the game. Penguins’ Kris Letang led individual skaters in TOI with 24:12
The Penguins were marred by injuries again as their forward corp took another hit. Patric Hornqvist left the game midway through the first period with a lower-body injury, and Alex Galchenyuk aggravated a prior injury. Neither player participated in practice on Wednesday in Cranberry due to their injuries. Patric Hornqvist is a game-time decision for tonight.
Matt Murray started in net for the Penguins and suffered the loss while making only 18 saves. Connor Hellebuyck earned the win despite being tested frequently. Hellebuyck stopped 37 shots and made a handful of key saves in the third period.
Anaheim rode a big third period to a 3-1 victory against Detriot, Tuesday. After a scoreless first period, Detriot defenseman Filip Hronek scored with five seconds left in the period, but the lead proved short-lived. Anaheim had jump in the third period and used a two-point effort by Jakob Slivferberg to collect their third win of the year. Silvferberg scored his first goal of the year while assisting on Rickard Rakell’s tying goal. John Gibson started in net and made 31 saves while Jimmy Howard stopped 26 of 29 shots.
In 13 career games against the Ducks, Kris Letang has two goals, nine assists, and 11 points. He had an assist in both games versus Anaheim last season. Letang is currently four points away from becoming the first defenseman in franchise history, and ninth active blueliner, to record 500 points
Adam Johnson joins Andrew Agozzino and Sam Lafferty as WBS Penguins with the big league club. Johnson received a callup from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on an emergency basis. He takes Alex Galchenyuk’s spot on the roster.
Almost one year has passed since defenseman Marcus Pettersson joined the Penguins from Anaheim in exchange for Daniel Sprong on December 3, 2018. Pettersson remains tied for the team lead with 60 games played and ranks second among team defensemen with 20 points since that time.
14 Scouts in attendance
Calgary 2x (Don Maloney, VP of Hockey Ops)
NYR (local scout)
Minnesota (Pens next opponent)
— Dan Kingerski (@TheDanKingerski) October 10, 2019
Bryan Rust (Hand, LTIR)
Zach Trotman (Sports Hernia, IR)
Evgeni Malkin (Lower Body, Long Term)
Nick Bjugstad (Lower Body)
Alex Galchenyuk (Undisclosed, IR)
Patric Hornqvist (GTD)
Ryan Kesler ( Hip, Out for the season)
|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)|
Penguins, -150, -10, (U 6.5)
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|