The Pittsburgh Penguins will host “Hockey Day in America” against the Detroit Red Wings at PPG Paints Arena, Sunday. The special game-day event is a celebration of all levels of Pittsburgh amateur hockey, including sled hockey, special needs hockey, blind hockey, and the Pittsburgh Warriors Disabled Veterans Hockey Team. This the last time this season the Penguins will meet Detroit as they attempt to sweep the season series for the first time since 2015-16.
Overall the Penguins have won four of the last five against Detroit and have won three straight matchups at PPG Paints Arena. Home games against Detroit have historically been high-scoring affairs. In their last nine home games versus Detroit dating back to April 9, 2014, the Penguins have scored four or more goals seven times, including each of the last three games.
The Penguins will put Matt Murray between the pipes against the worst team in the NHL. Murray is 16-7-5 with a 2.82 GAA and .902 save percentage. However, Murray has been a wall since Jan. 1.
The Penguins were paced by their top line in a 4-1 win against Montreal, Thursday. Despite being out-shot, the Penguins made the most of their opportunities and chalked up their 35th win of the year to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Neither team could find the back of the net in the first period and the stage seemed set for another goaltender duel
The second period bucked that trend however as it saw four goals scored including three in the closing two minutes of the period. Seven minutes into the period, Kris Letang started Penguins attack with a power-play goal. Letang’s goal held up for the majority of the period until the “two-minute warning” as a new Penguin made his mark. Jason Zucker one-timed a slick Sidney Crosby’s pass on the rush to record his first goal as a Penguin. Zucker would add his second of the game a few minutes later to answer Tomas Tatar’s strike that cut the lead back to just one. Thanks to Zucker’s goal the Penguins held a 3-1 lead as the intermission horn sounded.
The third proved uneventfully scoring-wise as the Penguins were the only team to find the net. With their goalie pulled and potentially their season on life support, Montreal attempted to capitalize on a man advantage. Thanks to strong goaltending and a Zach Aston-Reese empty netter, the Penguins were able to tally the first win of their four-game homestand and continued their recent dominance over Montreal. Tristan Jarry started for the Penguins in net and earned his 19th win of the year by making 24 saves. Jarry was able to outduel Montreal’s Carey Price, who was playing in his fourth straight and stopped 24 of 27 shots in the loss.
Detroit only generated 16 shots in their 2-0 loss to Columbus, Friday. Zach Werenski and Boone Jenner scored the only goals of the game for Columbus to secure their 30th win of the year. Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard made 43 saves but was still tagged with the loss. Columbus received the shutout effort from rookie Elvis Merzlikins, who stopped all 16 shots he faced but was undertested overall.
After recording his 200th hit in Friday’s Penguins game, Brandon Tanev became just the seventh Penguin in team history to record 200 or more hits in a season since the NHL started tracking hits in 2005-06. He is also just the fourth player in team history to score 10-plus goals and have 200-plus hits in a single season joining Chris Kunitz (’14-15, ’15-16), Patric Hornqvist (’16-17) and Matt Cooke (’08-09).
As the NHL celebrates “Hockey Day in America,” the Penguins have had 16 American-born players skate for them this season, the most in the NHL.
It took captain Sidney Crosby all of a game and a half to establish chemistry with newly acquired winger Jason Zucker, as he assisted on both of Zucker’s goals last night and finished with a game-high three points (3A). Since entering the league in 2005-06, no player has more three-assist games than Crosby’s 55.
Short scouts list, but interesting:
Kings have been coming around lately. Maybe? Injured CBJ peeking at Detroit?
— Dan Kingerski (@TheDanKingerski) February 16, 2020
Nick Bjugstad (Core Muscle, Skating)
Brian Dumoulin (Ankle, IR)
Dominik Kahun (Concussion, Practicing)
John Marino (Cheek, 3 to 6 weeks)
Detroit Red Wings
Danny DeKeyser (Back, IR)
Filip Zadina (Lower Body)
Madison Bowey (Eye)
|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|
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