The Pittsburgh Penguins (23-10-5) have won 13 of their last 15 games, and recent wins have stacked despite not playing their best hockey. Evgeni Malkin continues to regain form and integrate into the Penguins lineup, and head coach Mike Sullivan is close to a full boat. All Penguins NHL contracts are ready or close to ready to rejoin the lineup Thursday against the Ottawa Senators (11-19-2) at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins lineup integration figures to add players, thus continuing the short-term disruption for the long-term gain. Zach Aston-Reese and Danton Heinen are the latest players eligible to come off the COVID protocol. However, both were on the extras line at practice on Wednesday.
UPDATE: The team’s official roster shows the team moved Jason Zucker and Louis Domingue on IR Thursday afternoon. No official announcement has yet been made.
The Penguins rallied from down 3-0 in the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday. The team scored five unanswered goals for a 5-3 win and some necessary feel-goods. Despite struggling through a few games, the Penguins were 4-2 on their six-game road trip.
Jason Zucker had two goals, Teddy Blueger, Jake Guentzel, and Sidney Crosby scored goals. Crosby hit the empty-netter from center ice. Tristan Jarry made 23 saves on 26 shots but was not sharp.
Per Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, Jarry will start on Thursday against Ottawa. Louis Domingue was to be the backup, but a shot hit him on the inside of his leg during the morning skate. Sullivan said he was being evaluated after the skate and his status was TBD.
Ottawa goalie, and former Penguins goalie, Matt Murray may or may not serve as a backup Thursday. Murray has a non-COVID illness.
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes
*F Kasper Bjorkqvist and F Radim Zohorna were assigned to the Taxi Squad. D Juuso Riikola re-assigned to WBS (AHL). Drew O’Connor was placed on long-term injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 15.
*Five of Bryan Rust’s 16 games this season (31.3%) have been multi-point efforts.
*Jeff Carter’s 57.6% face-off win rate is tied for ninth in the NHL (min. 150 faceoffs).
*Matt Murray has not yet faced the Penguins since the team traded him to promote Jarry and avoid giving Murray a hefty new contract. Murray had a 117-53-19 record with a .914 save percentage, 2.67 goals-against average, and 11 shutouts in the regular season with the Penguins. His 117 wins are the third-most in franchise history.
*The Penguins have an active nine-game home winning streak (9-0-0) against the Ottawa Senators dating back to Dec. 6, 2014
*Evan Rodrigues leads the Penguins with 10 goals and 17 points (10-17-27) in 17 home games.
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 Ottawa Senators Lines, per PuckPedia.com:
Penguins Bettings Odds & Bets We Like:
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Odds: Penguins -1.5 (-144). Ottawa +1.5 (+118)
Over/Under 6.5: O (-106). U (+114)
Who scores first? We like the odds here–play 10 games, and you’ll get a couple, right?
Jake Guentzel +950
Jeff Carter +1300
Bryan Rust +1100
How to Watch:
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