The Pittsburgh Penguins (2-3-0) are facing a bad moon rising. They’ve lost two in a row and three of their first five after an offseason that had insiders and fans buzzing. The Penguins host the Dallas Stars (3-0-1) in the first of a four-game homestand at PPG Paints Arena.
Note the later start time. The puck drops just after 7:30 p.m.
How to Watch the Penguins Game
TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh.
Radio: 105.9 The X.
Pittsburgh Penguins Preview
The Penguins might see earthquakes and lightning if they don’t start winning soon. They’re simultaneously only two points out of a playoff spot but also near the bottom of the Eastern Conference after a pair of faceplanting losses. The Penguins lost to Detroit last Wednesday, then produced a sloppy, defense-last effort against the St. Louis Blues Saturday in a 4-2 loss.
Saturday, coach Mike Sullivan was noticeably angry and deferred analysis of the loss until he could “digest” it. Monday, Sullivan made only a small tweak to the power play, choosing to leave the lines and defense pairings intact.
John Ludvig will make his NHL and Penguins debut, presumably with NHL newbie Ryan Shea, who will be appearing in his second NHL game. Ludvig has played parts of three seasons in the Florida Panthers organization. P.O Joseph appears to be headed for his second healthy scratch, this time with Chad Ruhwedel joining him.
Despite the Penguins’ struggles, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel all have a point per game or more. Malkin leads the team with eight points (4-4-8) in five games.
Defenseman Erik Karlsson has four points (1-3-4) in five games, too.
The ageless Joe Pavelski, 39, leads Dallas with five points (3-2-5) in four games, while defenseman Miro Heiskanen has four points (1-3-4).
Alex Nedeljkovic will start for the Penguins. Jake Oettinger will go for Dallas.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Rickard Rakell
Drew O’Connor-Lars Eller-Radim Zohorna
Matt Nieto-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter
Ryan Graves-Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlsson
Ryan Shea-John Ludvig
Penguins Starting Goalie:
Expected Dallas Stars Lines:
Jason Robertson-Roope Hintz-Joe Pavelski
Mason Marchment-Matt Duchene-Tyler Seguin
Janie Benn-Wyatt Johnston-Evgenii Dadonov
Ty Dellandrea-Radek Faksek-Craig Smith
Ryan Suter-Miro Heiskanen
Esa Lindell-Nils Lundkvist
Thomas Harley-Jani Hakenpaa
Stars Starting Goalie:
Penguins Special Teams
Penguins Power Play: 15.4%, 19th.
Penguins Penalty Kill: 80.0%, 14th.
Stars Power Play: 14.3%, 22nd.
Stars Penalty Kill: (0-for-12) 100%, 1st.
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes
The Penguins have points in eight of their last 10 games against the Stars (6-2- 2) dating back to Feb. 9, 2018.
The Penguins’ team faceoff win percentage of 55.2% ranks third in the NHL
Kris Letang has seven points (2-5-7) and is plus-10 in his last 11 games against Dallas dating back to Dec. 1, 2016.
Evgeni Malkin and Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart each have four-game goal streaks. Malkin has a five-game point streak.