The Pittsburgh Penguins (41-19-10) get another crack at the President’s Trophy leading Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena. With a pair of stiff Metro Division games against the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals awaiting, the Penguins get a no-pressure, high-level test, again.
The puck drops just after 7 p.m.
On Saturday, the Penguins and Avalanche put on a thrilling exhibition at the Ball Arena. The Penguins outshot Colorado 40-38 and probably outplayed Colorado, but the Avs scored a pair of goals within 30 seconds after the Penguins scored and won 3-2.
The Penguins had several players missing from practice on Monday with a non-COVID illness, but they all took part in the morning skate. Kasperi Kapanen, Danton Heinen, and Anthony Angello were sick, and the Penguins made Filip Hallander an emergency recall just in case.
Head coach Mike Sullivan also says Jason Zucker is feeling better:
“Our doctors continue to consult with one another, but having said that, his response over the last few days has been encouraging.”
Tristan Jarry was the first goalie off at the morning skate. Darcy Kuemper, who kept the Penguins at bay on Saturday, is expected to start for the Avalanche.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Jason Zucker||Evgeni Malkin||Rickard Rakell|
|Danton Heinen||Ryan Poehling||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Brock McGinn||Sam Poulin||Drew O'Connor|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||Jeff Petry|
|P.O Joseph||Jan Rutta|
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines, per Colorado Hockey Now:
J. Johnson-E. Johnson
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:
*Start is important: Colorado Avalanche are 37-2-4 when scoring first. Colorado is 28-1 when leading after the first period.
*The Penguins had the only power play in the game between the teams on Satruday.
*INJURIES: Brock McGinn, upper-body (11 consecutive, 14 total), Nathan Beaulieu, lower-body (7 consecutive, 7 total), Jason Zucker, lower-body (1 consecutive, 38 total). 2021-22 Total Regular-Season Man-Games Lost: 250
*The Penguins are 17-7-5 versus the Western Conference this season, including an 8-3-3 record against the stacked Central Division.
*No player has more power-play points at home this season than Sidney Crosby (19).
*Only Colorado’s Cale Makar (10) has more multi-point games at home this season among defensemen than Kris Letang (9).
***Sidney Crosby (1097 GP) has 1397 points. He could become the seventh-fastest player to reach 1,400 points in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky (580 GP), Mario Lemieux (691 GP), Marcel Dionne (1,022 GP), Phil Esposito (1,070 GP), Jaromir Jagr (1,086 GP) and Steve Yzerman (1,093 GP). Of those six, only Gretzky, Lemieux, and Yzerman accomplished the feat with one franchise.
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The “Bet Against Dan and Make Money” pick of the day: Take the Penguins -1.5 (+200). They lost, and they shouldn’t have on Saturday. Let’s bet on the Penguins having an extra edge and motivation. Oddsmakers assume it will be a one-goal game but take the big odds at that payday.
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