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Penguins Game 51 vs. Blackhawks: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins Game, Chicago Blackhawks

Whew boy. The Pittsburgh Penguins have dug a deep hole as they head into a road game Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Penguins (23-20-7) have a quick turnaround following a 5-2 loss Wednesday at home against the Florida Panthers that had fans booing at times. It was their third straight loss.

The Blackhawks (14-36-3) might appear like easy pickings under other circumstances, but it seems that nothing is a given right now for the Penguins.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 8:30 p.m.

Penguins Preview

How bad are things right now?

Well, the Penguins have passed the point of controlling their destiny. Even if they win all their games in hand on several of the teams they trail in the chase for a playoff spot, that alone won’t be enough to get them into the postsesason.

Wednesday, for the first time this season, they dressed seven defensemen and 11 forwards because of injuries and salary cap issues. And that was before they lost top-line left winger Jake Guentzel, who is tied for the team lead with 52 points, to an upper-body injury in the third period against the Panthers.

Guentzel’s status remains unclear, and if he misses Thursday’s game, much of the Penguins’ lineup is anyone’s guess.

The Penguins are 3-5-3 in their past 11 games, not exactly the look of a club that is making a serious run at a playoff berth. They sit seven points off the final Eastern Conference wildcard spot.

Read more:

Kingerski: Penguins Sending Message, They’re Done

Molinari: Second-Period Flameout Dooms Penguins Against Florida, 5-2

Chicago is coming off a 4-2 loss Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks.

The Blackhawks – who reportedly have a chance to get talented rookie Connor Bedard back from a broken jaw for the game — sit dead last in the overall NHL standings. They have lost seven in a row (0-6-1).

They won the first of the teams’ two games 4-2 back in the season opener for both, Oct. 10. Chicago erased a two-goal deficit with four straight goals in that game.

Penguins Expected Lines

TBD-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust

Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Jesse Puljujarvi

Drew O’Connor-Lars Eller-Rickard Rakell

Jeff Carter-Colin White


Marcus Pettersson-Kris Letang

Ryan Graves-Erik Karlsson

John Ludvig-Chad Ruhwedel

P.O Joseph


Alex Nedeljkovic

Tristan Jarry

Expected Blackhawks Lines

Nick Foligno-Phillip Kurashev-Tyler Johnson

Colin Blackwell-Jason Dickinson-Joey Anderson

Lukas Reichel-Mackenzie Entwistle-Taylor Raddysh

Ryan Donato-Zach Sanford-Reese Johnson


Alex Vlasic-Seth Jones

Kevin Korchinski-Jaycob Megna

Louis Crevier-Isaak Phillips


Peter Mrazek

Arvid Soderblom

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 13.6%, 30th

Penguins penalty killing: 81.2%, 12th

Blackhawks power play: 12.4%, 32nd

Blackhawks penalty killing: 77.7%, 23rd

Penguins Game Notes

The Penguins have not lost four straight games in regulation this season.

The Penguins have totaled five goals during their three-game losing streak.

On the power play, the Penguins are 0 for 7 over their past two games, 4 for 40 over their past 11 games.

The Penguins have not scored more than three goals in any of their past 11 games.

Erik Karlsson is two points shy of 800 for his career.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X

Also visit sister site Chicago Hockey Now