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Penguins Game 52 vs. Kings: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins, LA Kings Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins have a special night planned Sunday as they retire the No. 68 jersey of Jaromir Jagr. There’s a hockey game, too, as the Los Angeles Kings visit PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins have celebrated all weekend with Jagr, who played his first 11 seasons with the Penguins and is ranked second all-time in NHL scoring behind only Wayne Gretzky.

The Penguins (24-20-7) will need to walk the line between inspiration and distraction once the puck drops.

The Kings (26-16-10) are coming off a comeback 5-4 overtime win in Boston on Saturday.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 6 p.m.

Penguins Preview

The celebration can’t erase the desperation of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ situation. They need wins and points at a blazing pace to climb into a playoff position.

They sit seven points behind the second and last wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Penguins are coming off a solid 4-1 win Thursday at Chicago. That broke a three-game losing streak.

Matthew Phillips, a small, speedy forward who was claimed off waivers from Washington late last week, could make his Penguins debut.

In addition, fourth-line winger Jansen Harkins could return from a concussion.

Both Harkins and Phillips were full participants in practice Saturday.

Read more:

Kingerski: Players in Awe, Jagr ‘Inspiration’ Changes Dynamic

Molinari: Jagr’s Proving That You Can Go Home Again

The Kings are holding the top wildcard spot in the Western Conference, but their place in the playoffs is hardly secure.

There are some signs that Los Angeles is ready to make a surge. The Kings are 3-1-1 coming out of their bye week/All-Star break. That coincides with Jim Hiller taking over as interim coach.

In addition, captain Anza Kopitar broke out of a slump where he had one goal in 18 games and now has scored in back-to-back contests. Also, tenacious forward Viktor Arvidsson has an assist in two games since he returned from offseason back surgery.

Penguins Expected Lines

Rickard Rakell-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust

Drew O’Connor-Evgeni Malkin-Reilly Smith

Matthew Phillips-Lars Eller-Jesse Puljujarvi

Jansen Harkins/Jonathan Gruden-Jeff Carter-Colin White


Marcus Petterson-Kris Letang

Ryan Graves-Erik Karlsson

John Ludvig-Chad Ruhwedel


Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedeljkovic

Expected Kings Lines

Kevin Fiala-Anze Kopitar-Adrian Kempe

Trevor Moore-Phillip Danault-Viktor Arvidsson

Alex Laferriere/Pierre-Luc Dubois-Quinton Byfield

Jaret Anderson-Dolan/Alex Turcotte-Trevor Lewis


Mikey Anderson-Drew Doughty

Vladislav Gavrikov-Matt Roy

Andreas Englund-Brandt Clarke


Cam Talbot

David Rittich

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 13.5%, 30th

Penguins penalty killing: 81.5%, 10th

Kings power play: 21.6%, 14th

Kings penalty killing: 86.7%, 1st

Penguins Game Notes

This is the second and final game between the clubs. The Penguins won 4-3 in overtime Nov. 9 in Los Angeles.

The Penguins are 5-1-2 in their past eight home games against the Kings.

Evgeni Malkin has four career game-winning goals against Los Angeles.

Jeff Carter’s 64.5 faceoff winning percent ranks No. 2 the NHL among qualifying players, and the Penguins as a team rank first with a collective 55.7% success rate.

The Penguins have allowed 135 goals, second fewest among Eastern Conference teams and tied for third fewest in the NHL.

Bryan Rust has a three-game goal streak. In his career, he has 10 points (7 goals, 3 assists) in 11 games against the Kings.

Marcus Pettersson is a plus-21, which leads the Penguins and ranks in a tie for ninth in the league.

Erik Karlsson is two points shy of 800 for his career.

Sidney Crosby leads the Penguins with 30 goals. He has hit that mark for the 12th time, most in team history.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X