The Penguins visit the Jets while trying to get their season off the ground.
Fresh off of the heels of an iconic performance by Captain Sidney Crosby in Minnesota on Thursday, the Penguins head to the heart of the Great White North for their sole trip to Winnipeg this season to face the Jets. They'll look to follow up their 6-4 win over the Wild and build off of the momentum of their first six-goal game since the start of the season.
Sid's heroics are key because his contribution just might be the individual effort that helps lift the Penguins up and over this excruciatingly rough segment of the season as the quarter mark of 2022-23 approaches. Crosby now has 21 points in 17 games or a little over 1.23 points per game. He's on pace for 101 points for the year: 43 goals and 58 assists.
And Crosby was in career-peak form in a four-point game on Thursday. He nabbed two goals plus two assists while leading his line, with Jake Guentzel and Rickard Rakell, to the combined production of eight points overall and half of the Pens' total goals scored.
Hockey Stat Card's individual player game score chart for the game vs. Minnesota showed Crosby's near-perfect effort (click to expand):
Forwards Jake Guentzel and Rickard Rakell also instantly improved upon the latter's elevation to the top line in the game against the Wild too. So all eyes are on those three players tonight against the Jets to see how they follow up on such an extraordinary effort. Encore anyone?
In other good news, Kris Letang has finally gotten back into the back of the net. He scored his first goal of the season in Game #17. It's hopefully a sign he's turning a corner on the year.
This stop in Winnipeg is the second on a three-game Northern Midwest/Canadian Prairies road trip. The Pens kicked it off with a big win and next up is a quick detour to Chicago tomorrow in the second half of this back-to-back scenario.
Last year the Penguins swept the series against the Jets and outscored them 6-3 in total. Winnipeg is a solid team this season however sitting in ninth place in the standings. They've only lost four times in regulation all year.
Pens Game #18: Pittsburgh Penguins at Winnipeg Jets
Date: November 18, 2022
Time: 7 PM (ET)
Place: Winnipeg, MB
Venue: Canada Life Centre
Broadcasts: Local- ATTSN
Records- PIT: 7-7-3, WPG: 10-4-1
Last 10- PIT: 3-5-2, WPG: 8-1-1
Standings- PIT: 20th, WPG: 9th
Points- PIT: 17, WPG: 21
Streaks- PIT: 1 Win, WPG: 2 Wins
‘21/22 Season Series- 2-0 PIT
‘21/22 Series Goals For- PIT: 6, WPG: 3
Team Analytics Comparison:
Projected starting goalies-
-Tristan Jarry- #35
Bio Info: 6' 2", 194 lbs. DOB: 4/29/1995 (27). From: Surrey, BC.
Drafted: 2013- Rd 2, Pk 44 (PIT). Experience: 7th Season.
Record: 5-3-2, 3.60 GAA, .895 SV%
Career vs. WPG: 3-0-0, 1.62 GAA, .944 SV%
-Connor Hellebuyck- #37
Bio Info: 6' 4", 207 lbs. DOB: 5/19/1993 (29). From: Commerce Township, MI.
Drafted: 2015- Rd 5, Pk 130 (WPG). Experience: 8th Season.
Record: 8-3-1, 2.07 GAA, .935 SV%
Career vs. PIT: 3-4-3, 2.50 GAA, .926 SV%
Tristan Jarry is undefeated against the Jets in his career. That includes an ultra-low 1.62 goals against average. He's made easy work of Winnipeg in his three career victories against them. That's good news considering his rough track record overall this season.
With defenseman P.O. Joseph back in the lineup the Penguins are finally injury-free for the first time in three years.
The six-goal game against the Wild moved the Pens into first place for the most six-goal games this season of any team, at five.
Look out as the Penguins' penalty kill is finally finding some life. They've killed 24 of their last 28 penalties. They have a ways to go to dig themselves out of their early hole of being 77.2% in penalty kill percentage this year though, which is the 22nd worst PK% in the league.
The projected Penguins lines for Saturday, November 19, 2022, vs. the Winnipeg Jets:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn - Jeff Carter - Danton Heinen
Ryan Poehling - Teddy Blueger - Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson - Jeff Petry
P.O. Joseph - Jan Rutta
The Jets are a formidable team on quite the streak lately. They have only lost once in regulation in their last 10 games played.
Goalie Connor Hellebuyck hasn't been fantastic against the Pens historically though: he has a 3-4-3, 2.50 GAA, .926 SV% record vs. Pittsburgh. It's a surprising track record for a player who is usually one of the league's top goaltenders.
Winnipeg is going to be a difficult team to score against. This game may be tight and decided by just a goal or even come down to a single powerplay. The Jets are the third lowest ranked in goals against per game played of all 32 teams in the league at 2.33.
Key players added: Forward- Sam Gagner. Defenseman- Kyle Capobianco. Goalie- David Rittich.
Key players lost: Forwards- Zach Sanford, Paul Stastny. Goalie- Eric Comrie.
-Dylan DeMelo (D): upper body, day-to-day.
-Nikolaj Ehlers (D): lower body, out indefinitely.
For Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby. For all the grounds stated in the opener, Sid to the man to keep marked in tonight's game. Need a few more reasons? He's got five points in the last two games and nine points in the last six games overall. And of course, because he's Sidney Crosby too. The greatest player of his generation is going to be great.
For Winnipeg: Josh Morrissey. The Jets' defender isn't lighting the lamp but Morrissey is on a six-game point streak, with all but one point coming via assists. He's scored a point in every single game played in November and has only failed to score in three games this year. If the puck is on Morrissey's stick a goal-scoring play is likely right around the corner.