Hello old friends and new team. The Pittsburgh Penguins (11-8-5) will face former teammates Jared McCann and Brandon Tanev, who are charter members of the Seattle Kraken (9-13-2). It will be the first meeting between the Penguins and expansion Seattle Kraken and the first Penguins visit to Climate Pledge Arena.
The puck drops Monday night just after 10 p.m. Brew your coffee appropriately.
The Penguins ended their three-game winless skid and ended the tenures of Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning and coach Travis Green with a 4-1 win on Saturday. The Penguins overwhelmed Vancouver and dominated the game.
At least the Penguins top line with Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby did. Guentzel had a hat trick (3-1-4) and four points. Sidney Crosby had three points (1-2-3).
Tristan Jarry beat his hometown team and upped his save percentage to .934.
On Sunday, Vancouver cleaned house by firing Benning, Green, and more.
Casey DeSmith will start for the Penguins–his first start on the five-game road trip. DeSmith has not posted great numbers this season and is winless in four starts. DeSmith is 0-3-1 with an .867 save percentage.
What to Watch:
The Penguins’ top line is on fire. Crosby, Guentzel, and Evan Rodrigues are tearing through opposing defenses with waves of scoring chances and a few goals, too.
The Penguins issue concentrates on the middle lines. The Jeff Carter and Teddy Blueger lines have scored one goal each over the last five games. The Carter line only has a couple of points in that span and is within a few chances of even.
The Penguins need more push from their middle six, though the Seattle Kraken is not the stiffest opponent. The Kraken has allowed 84 goals, the second-most in the Western Conference. They rank ahead of only the Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, and Montreal Canadiens.
Pittsburgh Penguins fans may remember Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol and his system, which relies on the forecheck. Hakstol likes a heavy forecheck and offense from the blue line. The backside trailers often give the Penguins fits, but the Penguins defensemen have done a better job of dealing with forechecks this season.
The Penguins defensemen also made a concerted effort to join the rush against Vancouver. Mike Matheson and Kris Letang activated more aggressively, which created more puck possession.
Seattle is fourth in the NHL with 608 hits. Brandon Tanev and Jamie Oleksiak are each in the top-10 in the league.
Seattle has four former Penguins, including the popular Brandon Tanev, whom the Kraken selected in the expansion draft. The Penguins traded Jared McCann to the Toronto Maple Leafs, leaving McCann exposed to be selected. Riley Sheahan and Jamie Oleksiak are also on the roster compiled by Penguins Ring of Honor member GM Ron Francis.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Danton Heinen||Evgeni Malkin||Evan Rodrigues|
|Dominik Simon||Jeff Carter||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Brian Boyle||Teddy Blueger||Brock McGinn|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||John Marino|
|Mike Matheson||Chad Ruhwedel|
Expected Seattle Kraken Lines, Per PuckPedia.com:
Pittsburgh Penguins Special Teams
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||15.1% (11-73) 27th NHL||92.2% (5-64) 1st NHL|
|Anaheim Ducks||26.3% (20-76) 5th NHL||86.3% (10-76) 3rd NHL|
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes
*Six different Kraken defensemen (Vince Dunn, Haydn Fleury, Mark Giordano, Adam Larsson, Jamie Oleksiak, Carson Soucy) have scored at least one goal this season. Entering play Sunday, only the Anaheim Ducks (7), Minnesota Wild (7), and Tampa Bay Lightning (7) have more blueliners with a goal.
*Morgan Geekie has played only one game against Pittsburgh – his first NHL game. He totaled three points (two goals, one assist).
*Joonas Donskoi has recorded five assists in his last four games.
*Jake Guentzel has points in every road game this season (11GP, 10-6-16). His season-opening 11-game road point streak is tied with teammate Evgeni Malkin (11 GP in 2008-09) for the longest streak in franchise history.
*Guentzel was named the NHL’s third star of the week.
*Defenseman Brian Dumoulin is one point away from 100 in his career.
*Sidney Crosby has a five-game point streak (2-5-7).
*In the third period, the Penguins have outshot their opponent 281-222. Their +59 shot differential in the third period is tops in the league.
*Kris Letang now sits two points shy of becoming the 43rd defenseman in NHL history to accumulate 600 points. He’s also looking to become the seventh active defenseman to accomplish this feat, along with Brent Burns (736), Zdeno Chara (668), Erik Karlsson (639), Duncan Keith (630), Ryan Suter (619), and Keith Yandle (606).
How to Watch:
TV: AT&T Sportsnet; Radio: 105.9 The X