PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins (7-8-4) host the Dallas Stars (11-8-2) at the PPG Paints Arena, Wednesday. The Penguins have not won since their 4-0 shutout of the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 10.
Evgeni Malkin leads the Penguins with 27 points (7g, 20) in 19 games. Phil Kessel leads the team with 10 goals. Kessel also leads the team with nine multi-point games.
The Penguins are efforting to play a simple game and shoot the puck more often. In the first 30 minutes against Buffalo, Monday the Penguins led 28-13 in shots and led the game 4-1. However, the Penguins abandoned their simplicity and Buffalo scored four unanswered goals for a 5-4 OT win.
Daniel Sprong will serve as a healthy scratch after playing in the last two games.
Dallas lost to the New York Rangers, Monday 2-1, at Madison Square Garden. Dallas center Tyler Seguin scored the lone Dallas goal. Seguin leads the Stars with 21 points (7g, 14a) in 21 games.
Dallas also gets a quick push from their defensemen but overall are a low scoring team. Pittsburgh native Stephen Johns has not yet played this season after being diagnosed with post-traumatic headaches. He was expected back in the Dallas lineup in late October but has not yet cleared the final hurdles to resume play.
Penguins backup goalie Casey DeSmith will start in goal for the Penguins. Matt Murray occupied the starter’s net, Wednesday morning but head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed DeSmith would get the nod. DeSmith is 3-3-3 with a 2.54 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.
Ben Bishop figures to oppose DeSmith. Bishop is 8-5-1 with a 2.33 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.
For what its worth, all-time the Penguins are 22-15-8 on Thanksgiving eve. They will wear their third jerseys for the second time, Wednesday night.
Expected Penguins Lines
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Dominik Kahun|
|Alex Galchenyuk||Evgeni Malkin||Bryan Rust|
|Jared McCann||Nick Bjugstad||Patric Hornqvist|
|Zach Aston-Reese||Teddy Blueger||Brandon Tanev|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Jack Johnson||Justin Schultz|
|Marcus Pettersson||Erik Gudbranson|