The Pittsburgh Penguins (20-12-6) will look to end 2018 on a strong note as they travel to St. Paul to face off against the Minnesota Wild (18-16-3). The Penguins have played some inspired hockey lately as they are 8-2 in their last 10 contests and have won five straight games. Currently, the Penguins sit third in the Metropolitan Division and are only a point behind Columbus for the 2nd spot.
The last time Pittsburgh and Minnesota played was 11 days ago as the Penguins won 2-1. Bryan Rust (8,9) had both goals for the Penguins. Casey DeSmith started for Pittsburgh and put forth a 40 save performance only allowing Jordan Greenway his 6th goal of the year. Devan Dubnyk had 35 saves on 37 shots for The Wild.
The Penguins were last in action Saturday against the St. Louis Blues and turned in an impressive 6-1 effort. The Penguins’ goaltending continued it’s stretch of quality starts as Matt Murray had 30 saves and won his fifth straight start since returning from a month long injury hiatus. Offensively, the Penguins were fueled by three point efforts from Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby, and Kris Letang. Crosby scored 10 points in his last 5 games. Rookie defenseman Juuso Riikola (1) scored his first NHL goal in the 2nd period and became the 146th Finnish born player to score an NHL goal. Jake Allen started in net for the Blues and
was pulled midway through the 2nd period after allowing four goals on 17 shots. Former Penguins forward David Perron (13) had the only goal for the Blues.
Minnesota comes into tonight feeling confident after they beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Saturday night. Devan Dubnyk stood out in net with 26 saves on 27 shots and was aided by the players in front of him who had 24 blocks to limit the rubber Dubnyk saw. Matt Bartkowski (1) had his first goal with the Wild, while Eric Fehr (5) and Charlie Coyle (6) rounded out the scoring. Patrik Laine (24) had the only goal for the Jets. Conner Hellebuyck had 22 saves in the loss.
Minnesota has the edge in the all time series against the Penguins 13-10-1. The Penguins have won two straight.
Justin Schultz (Fractured leg. IR)
Jamie Oleksiak (Concussion. Cleared to play)
Bryan Rust (Lower Body injury)
Olli Maatta ( Lower Body injury, game-time Decision
Matt Dumba ( Ruptured Pectorial, repaired with surgery
Nick Seeler ( Upper Body Injury)
Penguins Lines[table “20” not found /]
[table “21” not found /]
[table “22” not found /]