The Pittsburgh Penguins (19-12-6) will seek a checkmate as they travel to the “Chess Capitol of the World” to face-off against the St. Louis Blues (15-16-4) tonight at the recently renovated Enterprise Center. The Penguins are currently riding a four-game winning streak and have extended their third place lead in the Metropolitan Division to four points over the New York Islanders, who have two games in hand on the Penguins.
Thursday, the Penguins motored past the Detroit Red Wings, 5-2 at PPG Paints Arena. Phil Kessel scored a pair of power plays goals (15, 16) and Derick Brassard (5, 6) also scored two goals. Penguins goalie Matt Murray stopped 27 of 29 shots and weathered an early assault by the Red Wings to keep the game close before the Penguins offense found their legs. Kessel also added his 24th assist on Patric Hornqvist’s (13) third period goal that put the game out of hand. Evgeni Malkin also had two assists.
The Blues have won two straight. They beat the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, Thursday. St. Louis scored 3 goals in the second period and cruised thanks to goaltender Jake Allen. Allen stopped all but one of the 31 shots for a .968 save percentage and his 13th win of the season. Ryan O’Reilly (14) scored against his former team in the third period while rookie Robert Thomas added a goal and an assist for the Blues. Jack Eichel (15) had the only goal for the Sabres.
Since firing Mike Yeo and naming Craig Berube their interim head coach, St. Louis is 8-7-1 but allowing an average of 3.5 goals per game and scoring just 2.8 goals per game.
The Penguins have won six of their last seven games and are 12-4-3 in their last 19 games.
Justin Schultz (Fractured leg. IR)
Jamie Oleksiak (Concussion. Cleared to play)
Carl Gunnarsson (Upper Body)
Alex Pietrangelo (Upper Body)
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||12.5% (12th NHL)||80.0% (9th NHL)|
|New York Islanders||20.0% (8th NHL)||87.5% (4th NHL)|
Expected Penguins Lines
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Dominik Kahun|
|Alex Galchenyuk||Evgeni Malkin||Bryan Rust|
|Jared McCann||Nick Bjugstad||Patric Hornqvist|
|Zach Aston-Reese||Teddy Blueger||Brandon Tanev|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Jack Johnson||Justin Schultz|
|Marcus Pettersson||Erik Gudbranson|