Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray has one win in his last six starts. Saturday night, Murray will take his turn in the Penguins net against the Detroit Red Wings (7-20-3) after Tristan Jarry posted consecutive shutouts on Wednesday and Friday nights. The Penguins (16-9-4) have a four-game losing streak against Detroit at Little Caesar’s Arena. The Penguins have not won in the “Motor City” since March 26, 2016, when they cruised to a 7-2 win at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit is in last place in the Eastern Conference and the game concludes the Penguins’ seventh set of back-to-back games this season.
So far, the Penguins are 6-6-1 in back to backs (3-3-1 the first night; 3-3-0 the second night). After the Penguins play Detroit, they will return to PPG Paints Arena for a week-long three-game homestand and a chance to potentially mend up.
The Penguins graciously welcomed back Phil Kessel, then shutout Kessel and the Arizona Coyotes 2-0 on Friday. Despite two offensively talented teams, it was un eventual for the majority of the first two periods. There were no goals scored in the first or second periods.
The Penguins finally broke through seven minutes into the final frame. Evgeni Malkin (7) won a face-off back to Jake Guentzel, whose shot caromed off the back wall. Malkin poked the puck under goalie Antti Raanta’s right pad. The goal was all the offense that was needed, but they did add an empty-netter to pad their season goal differential. After a fumble at the defending blue line, Teddy Blueger pounced on the puck to spring him and Brandon Tanev for the empty netter. Blueger could have scored his second in as many games but sent a gift to Tanev for his sixth instead.
Goaltending was the story on both sides as Raanta and Jarry dueled throughout the game. Jarry won out by stopping all 33 shots he faced for his second consecutive shutout. The 24-year-old Penguins goalie now holds a shutout streak of 142:46 but was aided by the posts…just a bit. Antti Raanta made 24 saves in the loss for Arizona. You can read more about the Penguins shutout in Dan’s Recap and the PHN Extra Report Card.
Detroit last played Monday but fell to the New York Islanders, 4-1. New York opened the game with a two-goal first and never looked back as they cruised to victory. Jordan Eberle tallied his first two goals of the season in the win while Anthony Beauvillier scored his ninth. Dylan Larkin cut into the lead to open the second period for Detroit’s only goal of the game. Semyon Varlamov earned the win with a 30 save effort while Jonathan Bernier stopped 21 of 25 shots in the loss.
Saturday’s game could provide a first step in breaking out for Alex Galchenyuk due to good career numbers. Galchenyuk has 18 points (6G-12A) in 22 career games against Detroit, which includes one of the two four-point nights in his career. He has two goals and eight assists thus far in the 2019-20 campaign.
Evgeni Malkin’s game-winning goal on Friday propelled him into elite Penguins company. The goal marked his 70th career game-winner in Malkin’s career. Malkin became the third Penguin to record 70 career game-winning goals, joining Jaromir Jagr (78) and Mario Lemieux (74).
Brandon Tanev sealed Friday’s win over Arizona with his second shorthanded goal of the season. Tanev’s two shorthanded goals are tied for most in the NHL. As a team, the Penguins have tallied five shorties, tying them for the second-most in the league behind only the New York Rangers (6). Tanev now has seven career goals with a man down, and for the third straight season has recorded multiple shorties. He scored a career-high of three while with Winnipeg in 2017-18.
Sidney Crosby (Core Muscle, 6+ Weeks)
Nick Bjugstad (Core Muscle, 6+ Weeks)
Brian Dumoulin (Ankle, IR)
Patric Hornqvist (Lower Body, Longer term)
Detroit Red Wings
Danny DeKeyser (Lower Body, IR)
Trevor Daley (Lower Body, IR)
Justin Abdelkader (Upper Body, IR)
Anthony Mantha (Lower Body, IR)
Jimmy Howard (Mid-Body, IR)
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||20.3% (16th NHL)||82.4% (7th NHL)|
|New Jersey Devils||17.7% (22nd NHL)||82.0% (10th NHL)|
Expected Penguins Lines
|Jason Zucker||Sidney Crosby||Conor Sheary|
|Patrick Marleau||Evgeni Malkin||Bryan Rust|
|Evan Rodrigues||Jared McCann||Patric Hornqvist|
|Brandon Tanev||Teddy Blueger||Sam Lafferty|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||John Marino|
|Jack Johnson||Justin Schultz|