The Pittsburgh Penguins (27-10-6) missed a chance to claim first place in the Metro Division on Thursday night but instead endured a lackluster loss to the Seattle Kraken. The Penguins have another lesser test on Friday against the fading Detroit Red Wings at PPG Paints Arena. The puck drops just after 7 p.m.
The Penguins were outshot 18-4 in the third period on Thursday. If not for the handiwork of goalie Tristan Jarry, the Penguins would have fallen in regulation.
“I think we got a little risky at times–probably didn’t manage the puck as well as we would like,” Jeff Carter said. “You know, there they’ve got some skill guys over there, so they’re going to make some plays and (Jarry) held us in it.”
Jarry played in seven straight games, so he’ll probably get a rest though head coach Mike Sullivan admitted backup Casey DeSmith is battling his confidence.
Regarding the Penguins opponent, colleague Kevin Allen, who covers the Detroit Red Wings, offered the following:
“The Red Wings have lost 13 of their last 18 games primarily because of their poor defensive coverage. They give up too many Grade-A scoring chances. They moved Tyler Bertuzzi to the second line recently to get it going. Topline center Dylan Larkin is having his best NHL season. But they are getting no offense out of their bottom-six forwards. They play with no confidence on the road, and physical teams have given them trouble.”
We’ll see if Sullivan juggles the Penguins lines for Friday night, as the team continues to struggle to find chemistry since Evgeni Malkin’s return nine games ago. The Penguins are 7-1-1 since Malkin’s return but have not played consistently well.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Rickard Rakell||Evgeni Malkin||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Jason Zucker||Jeff Carter||Danton Heinen|
|Brock McGinn||Teddy Blueger||Evan Rodrigues|
|Mike Matheson||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||John Marino|
|Mark Friedman||Chad Ruhwedel|
Penguins Bets and Odds
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Oddsmakers are tentative with the Penguins. Makes sense. So are we.
Puckline: Penguins -1.5 (-110) Detroit +1.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Penguins (-195) Detroit (+245)
We haven’t called the first goalscorer in the last few games, but the odds are so good that it will make up for lots of misses when we do. We like Crosby to get the first goal in a show of captaincy on Friday.
Sidney Crosby +1100
Dylan Larkin +1200
Bryan Rust +1200
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:
*The Penguins PK is second in the NHL (88.6%), and the power play is 19th (19.4%). Detroit is in the bottom third of the league. The power ranks 29th (15.4%), and the PK is 21st (77.7%).
*The Penguins’ lone goal on Thursday was a power-play goal by Evgeni Malkin.
*The Penguins conclude their sixth set of back-to-back games. The Penguins are 7-3-1 in back-to-backs (4-1-1 on the first night; 3-2- 0 the second night).
*In their last 10 home contests versus the Red Wings dating back to April 9, 2014, the Penguins have scored four or more goals eight times, including each of the last four games.
*The Penguins are 18-2-1 since Dec. 4
*Since the calendar flipped to 2022, no other defenseman has more points than Letang’s 18 (4G-14A), which is nearly half of his season points total (38).
How to Watch:
TV: AT&T Sportsnet; Radio: 105.9 The X