The Pittsburgh Penguins turn to their “New Hope,” Tristan Jarry for a Star Wars Theme Night game against the Montreal Canadiens at PPG Paints Arena, Tuesday. The Penguins continue to ride the hot goalie hand and continue to benefit with three consecutive wins and points in eight of their last 10. Tuesday’s matchup bodes well for the Penguins as they have points in seven of their last eight games against Montreal (6-1-1) and are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games against the Bleu, Blanc en Rouge.
Penguins starter Tristan Jarry will face goaltending royalty on Tuesday. He will be opposed by Montreal’s Carey Price. Price has won two straight games after struggling with a six-game losing streak in November. He won his last decision and stopped 29 of 30 in a win against the New York Rangers.
Saturday, the Penguins jumped on Detroit early to deal them their 11th straight loss in 5-3 win. Playing their second game in as many days, the Penguins stumbled late and held off a late push to secure their third straight win and extend their wild card points lead. The Penguins tallied two goals in the first period to take a lead they would not surrender. Jake Guentzel (16) slammed his own rebound home 5:39 into the period and Chad Ruhwedel (1) added his first goal of the season late in the first.
In the second period, both teams scored goals, although the Penguins out-chanced Detroit especially late in the period. Detroit’s recent trade acquisition, Robby Fabbri (7), found the net just six minutes into the period to cut into the Penguins lead. The goal gave Detroit momentum, but only for a short while, as the Penguins quickly struck back. Jake Guentzel batted the puck in the air to Evgeni Malkin, who spun and shot five-hole to give the Penguins back their two-goal advantage. For the second straight period, the Penguins headed to the locker room with a two-goal cushion.
The teams combined for four goals in the third period, but the Penguins lead proved insurmountable despite Detroit cutting the deficit to one with only minutes to play. Dominik Kahun (8) kicked off the period with a great individual effort. He weaved his way past multiple defenders and snapped a shot upstairs to increase the Penguins’ lead to 4-1 just over one minute into the period. After Detroit used markers by Filip Hronek (6) and Dylan Larkin (8) to make the final three minutes of the game interesting, the Penguins capped off the scoring with a late empty-net goal. John Marino took a one time feed from Kris Letang and surged a shot into the yawning net. The goal came on the powerplay.
Matt Murray made 25 saves in the win while the tandem of Jonathan Bernier and Eric Comrie combined for 23 saves. You can read more about the Penguins win in the motor city in Dan’s Recap and the PHN Extra Report card.
Montreal used a late goal to waltz past the New York Rangers 2-1, Friday. Nate Thompson (2) score with 1:07 left in regulation to deny New York a point and give his team two wins in their last three games. Brendan Gallagher (13) opened the scoring for Montreal while Brendan Smith (3) tied the game at one for New York. Carey Price won the goalie duel with Alexandar Georgiev by making 29 saves. Georgiev stopped 31 of 33 shots.
Montreal native Kris Letang has picked up 27 points in 32 career games against his hometown team. He has an active three-game point streak and points in five of his last six games against them.
Alex Galchenyuk faces another former team for the second straight game. Galchenyuk spent the first six years of his career with the Montreal Canadiens, who drafted him third overall in the 2012 NHL Draft held in Pittsburgh. In 418 games with them, Galchenyuk had 255 points (108G-147A). Montreal is the last team in the NHL that Galchenyuk has yet to record a point against.
Evgeni Malkin currently sits one goal shy of 400 in his career. He’s looking to join Mario Lemieux (690), Sidney Crosby (451) and Jaromir Jagr (439) as the only players in franchise history to score 400 goals. Malkin has led the Penguins in goals five times during his tenure. Only Lemieux (10 times) and Crosby (8 times) have led the Penguins in goals in a season more times.
Sensing a trend with the scouts. Carolina isn’t here, but Chicago is…again.
— Dan Kingerski (@TheDanKingerski) December 10, 2019
Sidney Crosby (Core Muscle, 6+ Weeks)
Nick Bjugstad (Core Muscle, 6+ Weeks)
Brian Dumoulin (Ankle, IR)
Patric Hornqvist (Lower Body, Longer term)
Paul Byron (Knee)
Jonathan. Drouin (Wrist)
Jesper Kotkaniemi (Concussion)
Victor Mete (Ankle)
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||23.7%, 4th NHL||77.4%, 27th NHL|
|New York Islanders||18.8%, 21st NHL||83.7%, 6th NHL|
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Jared McCann||Jeff Carter||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Jason Zucker||Frederick Gaudreau||Evan Rodrigues|
|Zach Aston-Reese||Teddy Blueger||Brandon Tanev|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Mike Matheson||Cody Ceci|
|Marcus Pettersson||John Marino|