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Go for 9 in a Row, Penguins Game #32: Lines, Notes & Preview vs. Blues

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, St. Louis Blues

The Pittsburgh Penguins (18-8-5) have won eight in a row and are just starting to get healthy. The Penguins will play just their second game since Dec. 17 Wednesday night as they face the 2019 Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues (19-9-5) at PPG Paints Arena. It’s a TNT game, so puck drop is 7:30 p.m.

The wait for Evgeni Malkin will continue. The big Russian star, who “is like a pretty rich guy,” isn’t quite ready to return from his June knee surgery, but he could return within days.

There was also a Penguins trade on Wednesday. GM Ron Hextall dealt Sam Lafferty to the Chicago Blackhawks for former eighth overall pick, Alex Nylander, who will likely report directly to the WBS Penguins. Nylander missed last season with a leg injury and has played exclusively in the AHL this season.

The Penguins will be without Jason Zucker due to injury. Jeff Carter cleared protocol but will not play Wednesday. Kasperi Kapanen, Teddy Blueger, and Tristan Jarry also cleared protocol and will be available Wednesday. However, Casey DeSmith will start in goal.

Penguins forward Drew O’Connor was placed in COVID protocol on Tuesday. He is the only remaining Penguins player unavailable due to COVID.

The Penguins have won eight in a row but hung on for a wild 8-5 win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. The Penguins led 6-1 before San Jose closed to within 6-5 in the third period. Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust capped hat tricks in the final minutes for the Penguins win. Casey DeSmith was shaky after the Penguins’ two-week layoff. He misplayed a couple of pucks that became goals, including the Sharks’ third goal just seconds into the third period, which caromed off the end wall, off DeSmith, and into the net.

St. Louis is also on a heater. They’re 7-1-1 in their last nine games. Goalie Jordan Binnington was on the shortlist to be one of three goalies for Team Canada in the Beijing Olympics.

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:

*The Penguins PK is still ranked first. However, it dropped a whole point to 91% after San Jose scored just the seventh power-play goal against the Penguins this season. The Penguins’ power play remains mired near the bottom at 15.9% (27th).

*Anthony Angello and P.O. Joseph were reassigned from the taxi squad to the WBS Penguins.

*The Penguins are facing the Blues for the first time since Dec. 4, 2019 – a 3-0 shutout win for the Penguins.

*The Penguins have won four-straight home games and have points in eight of its last 10 games at PPG Paints Arena (7-2-1).

*The Penguins begin their fourth set of back-to-back games. The Penguins are 3-3-0 in back-to-backs (2-1-0 on the first night; 1-2-0 on the second night).

*Sidney Crosby has 17 points (3-14-17) over his last 11 games.

*A Penguins win tonight would tie the Carolina Hurricanes (9) for the longest overall win streak in the NHL this season.

Penguins Betting Odds from BarStool Sportsbook

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Penguins -1.5 (+180)  Blues +1.5 (-225)

Moneyline: Penguins (-134), Blues (+110).

O/U 6: Over (-122), Under (+100)

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Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

LWCRW
Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyBryan Rust
Danton HeinenEvgeni MalkinEvan Rodrigues
Dominik SimonJeff CarterKasperi Kapanen
Brian BoyleTeddy BluegerBrock McGinn
LDRD
Brian DumoulinKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJohn Marino
Mike Matheson Chad Ruhwedel
Goalie
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith

How to Watch:

TV: TNT; Radio: 105.9 The X

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