The Pittsburgh Penguins (9-7-3) will attempt to win their fourth game in a row Wednesday night when they host the Calgary Flames (9-7-2) in their unofficial tradition of a Thanksgiving-eve home game. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has 10 points in his last three games, as the Penguins are inching their way toward the team they are to become.
Wednesday night also makes the quarter pole of the NHL season.
The Penguins survived a poor performance against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. It was Evgeni Malkin’s 1000th game, and the Penguins squandered a 3-0 lead before Crosby scored moments after Chicago tied the game late in the third period. Crosby also set up Jeff Carter’s empty-net goal in the Penguins’ 5-3 win.
The high emotion contrasted with the subpar Penguins’ performance.
“I don’t know how to digest this one or how to assess this one,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “But we’re pleased with the result.”
You can see the reaction and emotion over Malkin’s milestone in the Penguins locker room here.
The Penguins and home fans will honor Malkin before the game tonight.
The Penguins made some changes to their struggling power play on Tuesday. Bryan Rust moved to the second unit, while Sullivan added a second defenseman, Jeff Petry, to the top unit.
The Calgary Flames have recently busted out of a slump. They have won four of the last five games, including beating the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.
Every part of the Flames game is under scrutiny, including goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who is 8-4-2 but has a porous .889 save percentage. He’s giving more start to Dan Vladar.
The Penguins will send Tristan Jarry to the cage to face Vladar on Wednesday night.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
Expected Flames Lines, per Puckpedia.com
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes
*The Penguins are 6-3-1 in their last 10 matchups against the Flames here at PPG Paints Arena
*The Penguins have points in six of its last seven games overall (5-1-1). Since this seven-game stretch began on Nov. 9, only the St. Louis Blues (14), New Jersey Devils (12) and Boston Bruins (12) have picked up more points than Pittsburgh (11).
*Evgeni Malkin became the 373rd player in NHL history to appear in 1,000 regular-season games on Sunday in Chicago. Malkin, who has recorded at least a point in 71% of (714/1000) of his games played, has the 15th most points (1166) in NHL history through his first 1,000 games.
*Brock McGinn scored his sixth goal of the season last game and now has five over his last seven games. Since Nov. 9, only Columbus’ Boone Jenner (6) and San Jose’s Logan Couture (6) have more goals than McGinn’s five.
*The Penguins are unbeaten with the top line of Rickard Rakell, Sidney Crosby, and Jake Guentzel, going 6-0-1 in the games that they’ve played together this season (Oct. 13-20, Nov. 17-20)
How to Watch:
TV: AT&T Sportsnet
Radio: 105.9 The X
The Penguins are a favorite to win, but not a favorite to cover. One little nugget, Jake Guentzel has four empty net goals this season, which means when the Penguins win, they have been covering.
There’s always extra juice in the game on the night before Thanksgiving. The crowd is jumping. The players feed on it. So, we like the over (6.5), and the Penguins to win.
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