The Pittsburgh Penguins (16-12-6) host the Minnesota Wild (17-14-2) at PPG Paints Arena, Thursday. The Penguins activated Dominik Simon off injured reserve late Thursday afternoon, and he will be in the lineup. The Penguins lines will have their full complement of forwards for the first time since later October.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan also confirmed defenseman Jamie Oleksiak suffered a concussion Wednesday when he fought Capitals forward Tom Wilson and Oleksiak will be out.
The Penguins earned a physical and emotional win over division rival Washington Capitals, Wednesday night. Defenseman Kris Letang played over 32 minutes, a career high. Sidney Crosby scored a power-play goal and Bryan Rust scored the game winner. The Penguins have won three of their last four games.
The Penguins are in a points tie with the New York Islanders for third place in the Metro Division, though New York has a game and one win in hand on the Penguins.
Tuesday, the Minnesota Wild were shutout at home against San Jose, 4-0. Minnesota is three points back of Edmonton for the second Western Conference wild-card spot.
Eric Staal has been prolific against the Penguins. The center has 54 points (23g, 31a) in 53 career games against the Penguins.
Casey DeSmith is expected to start for the Penguins. DeSmith is 10-6-4 with a 2.49 GAA and .923 save percentage. Devan Dubnyk is expected to start for Minnesota. The big netminder is 12-11-2 with a 2.64 GAA and .911 save percentage.
Justin Schultz (Fractured leg. IR)
|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)|
St. Louis Blues
New York Islanders
New York Rangers (local scout)
It is a bit of guesswork without a morning skate, the activation of Dominik Simon and the loss of Jamie Oleksiak.
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|