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Malkin Status Uncertain, Penguins Gm 67: Lines, Preview & How to Watch vs. Red Wings



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Detroit Red Wings

The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost two in a row and have not looked so good doing it. They did steal a point last week in Buffalo, but theft might be a kind word, and they were embarrassed by the New York Rangers, 5-1 on Friday. The Penguins face another trap game when they host the nothing-to-lose Detroit Red Wings at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday.

The puck drops just after 5 p.m.

The Penguins are solidly in the top three of the Metro Division, but winning the division is possible, and securing second place with Round One home-ice advantage is the first goal. After a couple of stinkers, the Penguins have to find their legs and stack a few more wins to achieve either goal.

Center Evgeni Malkin is iffy for Sunday with a non-Covid illness. The flu bug ripped through the Red Wings room last week, too. The Penguins made Kasper Bjorkqvist an emergency recall on Saturday. They played with 11 forward on Friday, and Mark Friedman played about five minutes on the fourth line.

Detroit is stumbling down the stretch despite playing some intermittent good hockey. They are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games. Despite rumblings, the Detroit Red Wings didn’t deal away any of their core players like Tyler Bertuzzi at last week’s NHL trade deadline. However, coach Jeff Blashill may be at the end of the line.

Detroit took the Tampa Bay Lightning to the mat on Saturday. Tampa Bay won 2-1 in OT.

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Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry was pulled midway through the Penguins’ loss to the Rangers on Friday but had to return three minutes later when Casey DeSmith was injured. DeSmith was a full participant in practice on Saturday.

Update: Jarry will start. Malkin remains a game-time decision.

The daily bet against Dan pick: Take the Red Wings to stay close.

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States: NY, KS, LA, AZ, PA, NJ, IN, IL, CO, MI, TN, VA, IA, WY, WV


Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines

Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyBryan Rust
Jason ZuckerEvgeni MalkinRickard Rakell
Danton HeinenRyan PoehlingKasperi Kapanen
Brock McGinnSam PoulinDrew O'Connor
Brian DumoulinKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJeff Petry
P.O JosephJan Rutta
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes

*Detroit has the 31st worst PK (73.1%). The power play isn’t much better at 27th (17.3%). The Penguins PK remains strong at 86.5% (2nd), and the power play has settled in the middle (21.2%, 15th).

*The Red Wings are usually slow starters. They’ve been outscored 68-42 in the first period but have been crushed 97-65 in the third.

*Penguins injuries: Jason Zucker, lower-body (28 consecutive, 35 total), Brock McGinn, upper-body (7 consecutive, 10 total), Nathan Beaulieu, lower-body (3 consecutive, 3 total), Evgeni Malkin, illness (1 consecutive, 37 total).

*Against Detroit, the Penguins have points in five-straight home games (4-0-1), and seven of their last eight (6-1-1) dating back to Feb. 18, 2016

*Jake Guentzel, who is second on the team with 64 points (31G-33A), is currently one of 12 players in the league with 30-plus goals and 30-plus assists

*In their last 11 home contests versus the Red Wings dating back to April 9, 2014, the Penguins have scored four or more goals eight times, including four of the last five games.

*Sidney Crosby has 66 points (23-43-66) in 54 games. He needs four points to reach the 70-point plateau and ensure that he will average a point per game for the 17th time in his career. Only Wayne Gretzky (19) and Gordie Howe (17) have accomplished this feat.

*Crosby is tied with Brett Hull for the 24th-most points in NHL history (1391) and trails Lucky Luc Robitaille by three points.

How to Watch:

TV: AT&T Sportsnet; Radio: 105.9 The X

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Alan Smith
8 months ago

Nice to get a back to back team in Pittsburgh! 2-1 against Tampa means defense coming! Good team to try playing offense if they get a 1-0 or 2-0 lead! Points are nice but trying to assert their offense throughout a game could be a good learning experience!