The three-game Western Conference road trip continues for the Pittsburgh Penguins (36-16-9), who owned the puck but not the goals in their loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The Penguins get another big team with big aspirations when they visit the St. Louis Blues (34-17-8) at the Enterprise Center.
Puck drops just after 8 p.m. local time if you’re still conscious after the March Madness explosion.
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On Tuesday, the Penguins had nine high-danger chances and allowed just two but still lost to Nashville 4-1. The Penguins also ran into a hot goalie. Juuse Saros looked every bit the Vezina Trophy candidate. Head coach Mike Sullivan kept his lineup changes intact, including pairing Mike Matheson with Kris Letang on the top pairing.
“This one stings…,” Evan Rodrigues said.
On the newly configured Penguin lines, Bryan Rust played with Evgeni Malkin, and Evan Rodrigues played with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. Given the Penguins’ solid effort, we expect the changes to stick, though Letang and Matheson could be separated to balance the offense (and because Brian Dumoulin and John Marino did not perform well together as the second pair).
St. Louis is 2-0-1 in their last three games and has scored 16 goals. The Blues players average over 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. They are a big group. Goalie Jordan Binnington, who rose to fame in the 2019 Stanley Cup run, has been challenged by Ville Husso, who has a .928 save percentage compared to Binnington’s .903.
After Casey DeSmith started on Tuesday, Tristan Jarry should return to the Penguins net.
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 Blues Lines, per PuckPedia.com:
Ville Husso (unconfirmed)
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:
*The Penguins beat the Blues 5-3 on Jan. 5.
*The Blues power play shares 3rd (26.4%), and their penalty kill ranks 8th (82.7%). The Penguins PP has been falling. It was 0-for 5 against Nashville and is 15th (21.0%). The PK is holding steady near the top of the league (85.8%, 3rd).
*The Penguins have points in three-straight road games (2-0-1) and have just one regulation loss in their last 10 road games (8-1-1).
*Sidney Crosby (878) is one assist shy from surpassing Nicklas Lidstrom (878) for sole possession of 22nd place on the NHL’s all-time assist list.
*St. Louis has never scored against Tristan Jarry, who has two career games, versus St. Louis. He is 2-0-0 and stopped all 41 shots he faced.
*Kris Letang has 15 points (2-13-15) in 17 career games against the Blues.
How to Watch
TV: AT&T SportsNet; Radio: 105.9 The X.