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Now or Never, Penguins Game 69 vs. Stars: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins lines, Dallas Stars

Sometimes, the universe just throws its best challenge at you to see how you will respond. The Pittsburgh Penguins might feel that is the case this weekend, starting with their road game Friday against the Dallas Stars. The Penguins (30-29-9) will take on two of the best in the NHL in Dallas and Sunday in Colorado at a time when they are both struggling to stack wins together and needing a string of wins just to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

The Stars (42-19-9) are a contender for the Presidents’ Trophy.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 8 p.m.

Penguins Preview

At a time when a stretch-run surge could have given them at least a fair chance to make the playoffs, the Penguins instead have turned in a 3-8-1 performance over their past dozen games.

They have also lost six straight road games (0-5-1).

For several games, their offense went in the tank. Now they have scored 18 goals over their past four games, but their defensive game has slipped, allowing an equal amount of goals in those four games.

Injured forward Jeff Carter, a mainstay on the fourth line and second power-play unit, missed Tuesday’s loss at New Jersey because of a lower-body injury, but he skated before practice Thursday and traveled with the team to Dallas. He is considered day-to-day, and could play in at least one of the weekend games.

The Penguins once again recalled defenseman John St. Ivany, who will finally make his NHL debut because Ryan Graves is not with the team because of family matters.

Read more:

Molinari: Is Knockout Punch for Penguins’ Playoff Hopes Looming?

Kingerski: Mike Sullivan Should Face Tough Questions About His Future

Dallas has won two games in a row and is 7-2 over its past nine.

The Stars have a lot to play for – they are in a tight race for the Central Division title and are in a position to contend for the Western Conference title as well as the aforementioned top spot in the league.

Wednesday, Dallas got back a significant player when Tyler Seguin returned after missing 11 games because of an upper-body injury. He scored in the Stars’ 5-2 win over Arizona.

Expected Penguins Lines

Drew O’Connor-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust

Michael Bunting-Evgeni Makin-Rickard Rakell

Reilly Smith-Lars Eller-Valtteri Puustinen

Jesse Puljujarvi-Noel Acciari-Emil Bemstrom


P.O Joseph-Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlsson

John Ludvig-John St. Ivany


Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedeljkovic

Expected Stars Lines

Jason Robertson-Roope Hintz-Joe Pavelski

Mason Marchment-Matt Duchene-Tyler Seguin

Jamie Benn-Wyatt Johnston-Logan Stankoven

Craig Smith-Radek Faksa-Sam Steel


Thomas Harley-Miro Heiskanen

Esa Lindell-Chris Tanev

Ryan Suter-Nils Lundkvist


Jake Oettinger

Scott Wedgewood

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 14.7%, 29th

Penguins penalty kill: 80.9%, 10th

Stars power play: 23.5%, 9th

Stars penalty kill: 80.8%, 11th

Penguins Game Notes

The Penguins fell to Dallas 4-1 Oct. 24 at home. Friday concludes their season series.

Lars Eller has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) over the Penguins’ past three games, the most on the team in that stretch.

Newcomer Michael Bunting has two goals, four points in his seven games with the Penguins and is on a three-game point streak (1 goal, 2 assists).

Sidney Crosby, leading the Penguins with 69 points in 68 games, continues to be on pace to finish with a point a game on average.

Crosby is a point away from becoming the first active player and ninth in NHL history to record 14 or more 70-point seasons.

Kris Letang has seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) and is a plus-9 in his past 12 games against the Stars.

Tristan Jarry is 1-1-1 with a 1.63 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage in three career games against Dallas.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X