The Pittsburgh Penguins (32-14-8) should feel pretty good about themselves after snapping a three-game losing skid on Saturday with an exciting 1-0 win over the New York Rangers. The win put the Penguins in second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins finish the second of a divisional back-to-back with a visit to the Columbus Blue Jackets (27-24-1), who are not seriously in the playoff hunt.
The puck drops at Nationwide Arena just after 6 p.m.
The Penguins again gave up too many odd-man rushes with careless puck management or ill-advised pinches by defensemen, but on Saturday, goalie Tristan Jarry was unbeatable. The goalie was spectacular in making all 27 stops against Igor Shesterkin and the Rangers. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin sparked the Penguins, and Malkin ripped the game’s only goal on a third-period power play.
Penguins backup goalie Casey DeSmith figures to get the nod in goal on Sunday. DeSmith is 3-0-1 in his last four starts, including a 2-0 shutout win over the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 10. DeSmith stopped 16 of 17 shots in relief of Jarry on Thursday in the Penguins blowout loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Columbus has been on fire and is 8-2-0 in their last 10 games. They can set a franchise record with a ninth win in February. Patrik Laine has 21 points (13-8-21) in his last 12 games. Boone Jenner has seven points (4-3-7) in his last five games, too.
The Penguins lineup figures to be mostly the same as Saturday. However, P.O. Joseph or Kasper Bjorkqvist could draw into the lineup. PHN detailed the struggles of winger Kasperi Kapanen with a shift diary. PHN will update the lines and story if head coach Mike Sullivan makes any news at his 4 p.m. presser.
Of course, it’s always rowdy in Columbus when the Penguins visit. And that infernal cannon, too.
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|
Expected Columbus Blue Jackets Lines, per PuckPedia.com:
Pittsburgh Penguins Betting, DraftKings Promo:
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However, we suspect the Penguins will make a concerted effort to limit the chances against. In the first period, the Rangers bombarded Tristan Jarry with glorious chances. That can’t happen against DeSmith. If you think the Penguins will win, take the Under and the Penguins parlay (+175).
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Moneyline: Penguins (-200), Columbus (+170)
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:
*The Penguins power play is 12th in the NHL (22%). The PK slipped to third (85.7%). Columbus is not good on special teams. The PP is 24th (16.9%), and the PK is average at 13th (81.2%).
F Jason Zucker, lower-body (16 consecutive, 23 total)
G Louis Domingue, lower-body (16 consecutive, 16 total)
F Teddy Blueger, upper-body (13 consecutive, 14 total)
D Mike Matheson, upper-body (1 consecutive, 4 total)
2021-22 Total Regular-Season Man-Games Lost: 202
*This year, the Penguins are 8-3-2 in back-to-backs (5-1-1 on the first night; 3-2-1 on the second night).
*The Penguins have scored three or more goals in 10 of their last 13 games against the Blue Jackets, while they have scored four in eight of those 13 games.
*Sidney Crosby has been held off the scoresheet just seven times in his career against the Blue Jackets, picking up 39 points (12G-27A) in 31 games.
*The Penguins are 17-6-3 on the road. Their .712 percentage on the road is first in the NHL, while its 17 wins and 37 points are second in the league.
*The Penguins are allowing an average of 2.61 goals-against per game, a figure that is fourth-best in the NHL behind Carolina (2.37), Calgary (2.43), and the New York Rangers (2.44).
How to Watch:
TV: AT&T SportsNet; Radio: 105.9 The X