Do it for Kris Letang. The Pittsburgh Penguins (11-8-4) will be without their top defenseman for the foreseeable future after he suffered a stroke earlier this week. The team is rallying around the 17-year veteran as the resurgent Vegas Golden Knights (17-6-1) visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-8-4) Thursday at PPG Paints Arena.
Shelly Anderson spoke with the Penguins Thursday morning. They were scared by the news, too.
If this were a college football game, perhaps it would be the Marc-Andre Fleury Memorial. Both teams are wistful Fleury exes. Former Penguins winger and two-time Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel will return as the reigning NHL ironman with 1006 consecutive games played.
In addition to the Letang news, the Penguins are fresh from their controversial loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night. The Penguins rallied to force OT when Jake Guentzel deflected Jeff Petry’s shot in the final minute. However, Carolina won the game in extra time after Seth Jarvis’s hit on Bryan Rust that Penguins coach Mike Sullivan termed “dangerous.” After the hit, Brett Pesce finished the play for the win.
Sullivan was vocal, and the Penguins lingered on the bench in disbelief that officials did not assess a penalty on the hit.
The Penguins have followed their five-game winning streak with a two-game winless streak (0-1-1).
The Vegas Golden Knights cut through opponents like a buzzsaw. Top center Jack Eichel is on pace for a career year. He leads the team in scoring with 26 points (11-15-26) in 24 games.
Vegas is also without their top defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo.
The Golden Knights lead the Pacific Division by four points over Seattle and seven points ahead of the LA Kings.
Logan Thompson has claimed the Vegas net. He’s 12-4-0 with a .921 save percentage.
Tristan Jarry has allowed just four regulation goals in his last four games. He’ll start for the Penguins.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:
Expected Golden Knights Lines:
Penguins Power Play: 12-74, 16.2%, 28th
Penguins Penalty Kill: 13-72, 81.9%, 8th
Golden Knights Power Play: 14-70, 20%, 21st
Golden Knights Penalty Kill: 15-59, 74.6%, 23rd
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes
Last season the Penguins were 2-0-0 against the Vegas Golden Knights, outscoring them 10-5 and converting at 33.3% (2/6) on the power play.
Jeff Carter led the Penguins with four points (1-3-4) against the Golden Knights.
The Penguins have points in nine of their last 11 games (7-2-2).
When Marcus Pettersson scores a point this season, the Penguins are 8-0-2.
The Penguins have killed 19 consecutive penalties and 23 of their last 24.
Sidney Crosby leads the team and is seventh in the NHL with 31 points. He leads the league in even-strength points (26) in 23 games.
How to Watch:
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 105.9 The X
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