On Wednesday night, Tristan Jarry will be pushed to the limit when the Pittsburgh Penguins (10-7-5) visit the Edmonton Oilers (15-5-0) at Rogers Place. Jarry has been brilliant and stole a point in Calgary on Monday night, but now he’ll face the NHL’s leading scorer and the best in the world when the puck drops just after 10 p.m. EST.
Oilers forward is sometimes a center, and sometimes a winger Leon Draisaitl is the NHL’s leading scorer (20-20-40). Sometimes he pivots the second line. Sometimes he’s a top-line winger with Connor McDavid, who isn’t far off the NHL scoring lead with 36 points (14-22-36).
Of course, the player at the top of the Penguins lineup, Sidney Crosby, isn’t a slouch, either. However, Crosby is struggling to find his form after offseason wrist surgery cost him training camp and the first six weeks of the season, then COVID took another 10 days.
Jarry has been the story of the Penguins. He was spectacular on Monday night and was the difference between earning a point in the 2-1 shootout loss and losing 6-0.
Head coach Mike Sullivan didn’t waste words when asked if he could take many positives from the game beyond Jarry.
This season, Jarry has a .938 save percentage (2nd, NHL) a 1.85 GAA (3rd, NHL).
What to Watch:
In addition to Crosby v. McDavid, special teams could greatly affect the outcome. The Penguins have the best penalty kill in the league at 90.9%. Teddy Blueger is winning faceoffs, and a bevy of new faces are doing the dirty jobs to nullify man advantages.
However, the Edmonton Oilers have the best power play in the league at 37.7%. Strength vs. Strength.
The Penguins skaters flatlined against Calgary on Monday night. A long day of travel on Sunday and a good team sapped the Penguins, who scored only one goal and otherwise failed to generate offensive pressure. Sullivan was dour after the game, and he spoke for just 96 seconds after the game.
The Penguins did score a power-play goal and have upped their productivity from 10% to 14.6%.
The Penguins will have to up their pace and aggressiveness. Giving McDavid the puck is a bad idea. So, the Penguins will have to hang onto pucks down low, limit turnovers, and make Edmonton play backward. If Edmonton gets on their toes, not even a razor-sharp Jarry can save the Penguins.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Rickard Rakell||Evgeni Malkin||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Jason Zucker||Jeff Carter||Danton Heinen|
|Brock McGinn||Teddy Blueger||Evan Rodrigues|
|Mike Matheson||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||John Marino|
|Mark Friedman||Chad Ruhwedel|
Expected Oilers Lines, Per PuckPedia.com
Spread: Penguins (+1.5 -235), Oilers (-1.5 +186)
Moneyline: Penguins (+106), Oilers (-128)
Over/Under: Over 6.5 (+100), Under 6.5 (-122)
Penguins to score four or more goals (+150, BetMGM). Bet $10, win $200 with MGM
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes
*The Penguins face Edmonton for the first time since Dec. 20, 2019 – a 5-2 Penguins win in Edmonton.
*Get this–The Penguins have a 19-game unbeaten streak versus the Oilers (15-0-4) dating back to Dec. 5, 2007, which is also the longest such streak against Edmonton in franchise history.
*Jake Guentzel has points in every road game this season (9GP, 6-5-11).
*On the road, Tristan Jarry is 5-1-2 with a 1.47 goals-against average and .948 save percentage.
*Tristan Jarry is 5-1-2 with a 1.47 goals-against average and .948 save percentage.
How to Watch:
Note–NO AT&T Sports.
TV: TNT, Sportsnet; Radio: 105.9 The X.