The Pittsburgh Penguins (21-9-5) have won 11 of 12 and talked of creating a new winning streak after their recent 10-game streak ended last week in Dallas. The team is 16-3-1 in their last 20 games and has provided a fountain of youth for Jeff Carter, who will face his former team, the LA Kings, Thursday night at the Crypto.com Arena. The puck will drop after 10:30 p.m. EST.
It will be a homecoming for Carter, who won two Stanley Cups with LA has not faced them since the Penguins acquired him last March near the NHL trade deadline.
“Winning (the Cup) twice here, pretty special moments,” Carter said. “And then just the friendships. I have so many friends over there still that I keep in touch with daily. It’s a lot of fun to be back, and I’m sure it will feel a little weird come game time, but I’m looking forward to it.”
The Penguins charge up the Metro, and NHL standings continued on Tuesday as the team overwhelmed the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. Evgeni Malkin played his first game of the season and scored three points (2-1-3). Carter had a pair of goals, including the empty netter, assisted by Malkin.
Tristan Jarry continued to polish his credentials by stopping 25 of 26 shots. He boasts a 1.91 GAA and .932 save percentage, with an 18-6-4 record.
The LA Kings are on the upswing. They’re third in the Pacific Division, tied with the San Jose Sharks at 41 points. Jonathan Quick is back in peak form with a .921 save percentage. He was a favorite to be NHL’ersd on the U.S. Olympic Team if the NHL’ers went to Beijing next month.
LA has won four of their last five games and is 6-3-1 in their last 10.
Roster note: The Penguins activated Brock McGinn from the COVID list, but he will not play on Thursday. He quarantined in a Dallas hotel room for the last five days.
What to Watch:
A few of the Kings middle six are on fire. Second-liners Trevor Moore and Philip Danault are filling the net. Moore has eight points (5-3-8) in his last eight games and Danult has five points (3-2-5) in the last four.
The right-winger on that line, Victor Arvidsson has six points (2-4-6) in his last four games, too.
The Kings also have a pesky fourth line capable of getting under opponents skin with Brendan Lemieux and Blake Lizotte. Their defense may be a little suspect with former Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta and Matt Roy on the second pair.
The Penguins played a simple, somewhat vanilla game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. That doesn’t mean they played poorly, but integrating Evgeni Malkin back into the lineup and Carter on the LW, in addition to a few Taxi Squad callups made the Penguins lineup a mix-and-match set.
The Penguins lines on Thursday will similarly be full of Taxi Squad player and players out of position, so don’t expect a coaching clinic, but do expect the Penguins to continue their run. Their scoring depth rivals the best in the NHL, even without Bryan Rust and Brock McGinn in the lineup (COVID).
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|
Kings Lines per PuckPedia.com:
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes
*The Penguins have points in 13 of 16 games against Western Conference opponents this season (9-3-4).
*First period magic: the Penguins have a plus-24 goal differential in the first period, the best in the NHL, while allowing a league-low 13 goals against in the opening period.
*The Penguins’ 2.46 goals-against per game is second lowest in the NHL only behind the Carolina Hurricanes (2.21).
*Evan Rodrigues has yet to take a penalty this season. He is the only Penguin to not have a penalty and one of six players with zero penalty minutes this season who have played at least 25 games.
Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Odds
Get the best odds and Fanduel promo below. The oddsmakers at FanDuel are again enticing Penguins bets with a big number against the spread. It paid off well for bettors on Tuesday. It could pay off again Thursday. I really like that play. The Penguins are on fire. Ride it until the horse stops galloping, then say hello to Beth Dutton for me.
Penguins Odds: -1.5 (+172). Kings odds: +1.5 (-215)
Moneyline: Penguins -138. Kings +115
In his homecoming, Jeff Carter is a +330 to score with a Penguins win. Yes, please.
Get a $1,000 risk-free first bet from FanDuel Sportsbook when you click here.
How to Watch:
TV: AT&T Sportsnet; Radio: 105.9 The X