The rematch. Four days after the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Winnipeg Jets at home 3-0 on Tristan Jarry’s 23-save shutout, the teams meet again Saturday, this time in Winnipeg.
The Penguins (23-18-7) don’t seem to be a revenge-oriented team, but this game comes after Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon delivered a high hit to Penguins fourth-line center Noel Acciari, giving him a concussion and earning Dillon a three-game suspension.
Neither player will be available for the rematch.
The Jets (30-14-5) subsequently dropped a 4-1 decision Thursday at Philadelphia, while the Penguins fell 3-2 Friday at Minnesota.
The game starts a little after 7 p.m.
The Penguins did so much right in their win against the Jets. They played a strong two-way game, got solid goaltending and capitalized twice on the five-minute power play they got as a result of Dillon’s match penalty.
It was different Saturday. The Penguins were 1 for 6 on the power play, could not score an equalizer on a late power play and perhaps got caught up some in the emotion of Marc-Andre Fleury Night, when the Wild celebrated the former Penguins goaltender’s 1,000th game and his move into second place all-time in wins with 552 – which grew to 553 on Friday.
The Penguins also seemed to be affected by the frustration following the Wild’s go-ahead goal. The Penguins challenged that the puck had gone off the netting before the goal and seemed convinced of that, but the ruling was a good goal.
How much of that angst from the past couple games carries over or affects the Penguins remains to be seen.
Coming off the loss, and given the idea that things could get tense in the rematch, perhaps this will be the time for John Ludvig, a physical defenseman, to come off LTIR and replace P.O Joseph on the third pairing.
Kingerski: Penguins Room: Crosby Rips Missed Replay, Sullivan Says Every Player Saw it
Molinari: Flower Show: Fleury, Wild Hold Off Penguins, 3-2
The Jets’ offense has fallen off a cliff. They are among the NHL’s best with a goal differential of plus-33, but they have scored just four goals in the past five games while going 0-4-1.
Winnipeg had a chance to move into the Central Division lead with a few wins during that five-game stretch. They, like the Penguins, need to get on a roll.
Penguins Expected Lines
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Drew O’Connor
Rickard Rakell-Lars Eller-Valtteri Puustinen
Jansen Harkins-Colin White-Jeff Carter
Marcus Pettersson-Kris Letang
Ryan Graves-Erik Karlsson
P.O Joseph/John Ludvig-Chad Ruhwedel
Expected Jets Lines
Kyle Connor-Mark Scheifele-Gabriel Vilardi
Cole Perfetti-Sean Monahan-Nikolaj Ehlers
Nino Niederreiter-Adam Lowry-Mason Appleton
Morgan Barron-Vladislav Namestnikov-Alex Iafallo
Josh Morrissey-Dylan DeMelo
Dylan Samberg-Neal Pionk
Logan Stanley-Nate Schmidt
Penguins Special Teams
Penguins power play: 14.2%, 30th
Penguins penalty kill: 81.5%, 10th
Jets power play: 15.1%, 25th
Jets penalty kill: 77.1%, 26th
Penguins Game Notes
The Penguins can go for a season sweep, even at a modest two games, after the teams split their season series in 2022-23. They have won four in a row in Winnipeg.
Overall, the Penguins have won two of three and are 3-3-3 in their past nine games.
Tristan Jarry picked up his league-leading sixth shutout Tuesday against the Wild. Only two goalies in Penguins history – Tom Barrasso (7 in 1997-98) and Marc-Andre Fleury (10 in 2014-15) have had more in a season.
Jarry is 5-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average, a .968 save percentage and two shutouts in his career against Winnipeg.
Erik Karlsson has points in 12 of the past 13 games and is three points shy of 800 for his career.
How to Watch
TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh
Radio: 105.9 FM The X