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Crosby & Carter IN the Lineup; Penguins Lines, Notes & What to Watch vs. Devils

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, New Jersey Devils

Hello Sidney Crosby and Jeff Carter. The Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2-2) game and their momentum after losing Carter to COVID protocol have evaporated after a pair of losses in which they scored a combined one goal. However, the Penguins will get a boost of adrenaline and offense on Saturday when they host the New Jersey Devils (3-2-0) at PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins will unleash captain Sidney Crosby and Jeff Carter on New Jersey. Both will join the lineup on Saturday night. Head coach Mike Sullivan upgraded the pair to game-time-decisions on Friday. Saturday morning he broke with tradition and announced they would play.

Crosby has been flying in practice. 

Tristan Jarry will start in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Devils will put choose Scott Wedegwood between the pipes.

Jarry is 16-2-2 in his last 22 regular season games. He lost his last start, which was his first loss since last March. This season, Jarry has 3-1-1 with a 1.78 GAA and .933 save percentage.

What to Watch

Crosby and Jake Guentzel should add a dynamic dimension to the Penguins lineup. So, too, should Kasperi Kapanen with Carter.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have struggled to score goals in the last 120 minutes of hockey. Since putting the boots to the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-1 last Saturday, the Penguins have scored just one goal since. They lost to Tampa Bay 5-1 on Tuesday and the Calgary Flames shut out the Penguins 4-0 on Thursday.

The absence of red lights was in large because of a lack of talent at the top of the lineup, but also because the Penguins didn’t make the goalies uncomfortable. There was not enough traffic near the net and not enough greasy play in the crease.

The talent gap has been solved.

New Jersey is without 2019 first overall pick Jack Hughes, who is out for another five weeks with a shoulder injury.

The first period could prove pivotal, too. The Penguins have dominated opponents in the second period (10-5), but New Jersey has been outscored 7-3 in the first period. If the Penguins can get a lead on the slow starting Devils, then bury them in the second period, the third could be a breeze.

That may be more wishful thinking. The Penguins matchup well against New Jersey, because New likes to play a skating game, but sometimes that has worked against the Penguins as New Jersey lulls them to sleep by skating without the physical component.

The Penguins have an edge in goaltending, and will have an edge in most other categories, including PK, whic is ranked No. 1 in the NHL, having allowed just one goal.

You may also notice a new defenseman in the Penguins lineup. Juuso Riikola is expected to play.

TEAMPower PlayPenalty Kill
Pittsburgh Penguins11.9% (7-59) 30th NHL90.2% (5-51) 1st NHL
Montreal Canadiens13.6% (9-66) 28th NHL68.7% (21-67) 30th NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins Lines

LWCRW
Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyEvan Rodrigues
Jason Zucker Jeff CarterKasperi Kapanen
Danton HeinenBrian BoyleDominik Simon
Zach Aston-ReeseTeddy BluegerBrock McGinn
LDRD
Brian DumoulinKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJohn Marino
Mike Matheson Chad Ruhwedel
Goalie
Casey DeSmith
Tristan Jarry

Expected New Jersey Devils Lines, Per PuckPedia.com

Zacha-Hischier-Tatar

Johnsson-Mercer-Bratt

Sharangovich-McLeod-Vesey

Kuokkanen-Gauthier-Studenic

Defense:

Graves-Hamilton

Siegenthaler-Subban

Smith-Severson

Special Teams

TEAMPower PlayPenalty Kill
Pittsburgh Penguins11.9% (7-59) 30th NHL90.2% (5-51) 1st NHL
Montreal Canadiens13.6% (9-66) 28th NHL68.7% (21-67) 30th NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes

Injuries:

F Evgeni Malkin, lower body (7 consecutive, 7 total)
F Bryan Rust, lower body (5 consecutive, 5 total)
D Kris Letang, COVID-19 protocol (3 consecutive, 3 total)
2021-22 Total Regular-Season Man-Games Lost: 32

*The Penguins are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games against New Jersey dating back to Feb. 19, 2019.

*Jason Zucker leads the team with 23 shots on net this season and averages 3.29 shots per game. His 3.29 shots per game are over a full shot per game more than his 2020-21 average (1.76).

*The Penguins average 34.7 shots on goal per game, the fourth-highest total in the NHL.

*With two more goals, Jeff Carter will crack the top 100 goals scorers list.

How to Watch:

TV: AT&T SportsNet; Radio: 105.9 The X

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Rob
Rob
28 days ago

I am not sold on Rodrigues on the first line. Why put him there over Kapanen or even Heinen? He is a good fill in player, but why put him there when there are at least 2 better options (more finish) for the top line?

Also, has Friedman been bad the past 2 games or is Riikola just getting a look?

OUTRAGE! WHY NO SIMON?!?! 🤣

Last edited 28 days ago by Robert Shoemaker

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