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Go West; Penguins Game 56 vs. Canucks: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins game vs. Vancouver Canucks

It’s go big or go home for the Pittsburgh Penguins – except they won’t be going home – as they kick off their trip out west with a game Tuesday against the Canucks in Vancouver.

The Penguins (26-21-8) need to win at a furious pace the rest of the season to get into the playoffs, and they open this four-game road trip against one of the best.

Vancouver (38-16-6) leads the Western Conference and is tied with Boston for the most points in the league.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 10 p.m.

Currently, the Canucks are a heavy favorite (-154) and the Penguins are a healthy underdog (+128) on the Moneyline. Bet365 is offering a welcome bonus for new players, too.

Penguins Preview

The Penguins have won two in a row and have points in three straight (2-0-1), including a wild 7-6 win Sunday against the rival Philadelphia Flyers.

That could be called heading in the right direction after a 3-6-1 stretch.

Still, it’s an uphill climb for the Penguins. They are seven points behind the third-place Flyers in the Metropolitan Division and nine points out of a wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference, with four teams to overtake. They have games in hand on most of those teams, but it will take a lot of wins to take advantage of those.

With Jake Guentzel still out because of an upper-body injury and ineligible to return until after this trip, and Bryan Rust now out week to week because of an upper-body injury he got on Sunday, the Penguins will be without both top-line wingers for at least this road trip.

In practice Monday, top-line center Sidney Crosby was flanked by Reilly Smith and Rickard Rakell.

This road trip also takes the Penguins close to the March 8 NHL trade deadline, so these four games could help determine what sort of moves the team might consider or make.

Read more:

Molinari: How Can Penguins Get into Playoffs? Here’s one Surefire Way

Anderson: Bryan Rust Not on Road Trip With Penguins

The Canucks snapped a four-game losing streak, their longest skid of the season, with a 3-2 overtime win Saturday against Boston in a matchup of the NHL’s top teams.

Vancouver has a heavy Penguins connection, including former Pittsburgh players Sam Lafferty, Mark Friedman, Teddy Blueger, Ian Cole and Casey DeSmith, general manager Jim Rutherford, assistant GM Patrik Allvin, coach Rick Tocchet and assistants Mike Yeo and Sergei Gonchar, plus center and Pittsburgh area native J.T. Miller.

Expected Penguins Lines

Reilly Smith-Sidney Crosby-Rickard Rakell

Drew O’Connor-Evgeni Malkin-Valtteri Puustinen

Emil Bemstrom-Lars Eller-Jesse Puljujarvi

Jansen Harkins-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter


P.O Joseph-Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlsson

Ryan Graves-Chad Ruhwedel


Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedeljkovic

Expected Canucks Lines

Arshdeep Bains-J.T. Miller-Brock Boeser

Nils Hoglander-Elias Lindholm-Elias Pettersson

Pius Suter-Teddy Blueger-Conor Garland

Ilya Mikheyev-Sam Lafferty-Phillip Di Giuseppe


Quinn Hughes-Filip-Hronek

Ian Cole-Tyler Myers

Nikita Zadorov-Noah Juulsen


Thatcher Demko

Casey DeSmith

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 14.7%, 28th

Penguins penalty kill: 82.3%, 8th

Canucks power play: 22.8%, 11th

Canucks penalty kill: 79.0%, 19th

Penguins Game Notes

This is the second and final meeting of the season between the teams. Vancouver won 4-3 Jan. 11 in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins are 12-9-2 against Western Conference teams.

Drew O’Connor has a three-game goal streak and has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) over the past six games.

Reilly Smith has 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists) in 25 career games against the Canucks.

Sidney Crosby, who had a goal and three assists Sunday against Philadelphia, moved into 15th place all-time in the NHL in even-strength goals, seven behind Jarome Iginla.

Crosby also has 999 even-strength points, one shy of becoming the ninth player in league history with 1,000.

Crosby has 30 points (19 goals, 11 assists) in 26 road games.

J.T. Miller leads active Canucks with 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists) in 26 career games against the Penguins.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X