The Pens continue to try to claw their way into the playoffs against the Red Wings with just three games left to play.
Once again it's a must-win scenario for the Pittsburgh Penguins today as every single remaining game has to be won to even have a chance to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Today they face a Red Wings that's beaten them 2-0 in this season's series and just downed them by a score of 7-4 less than two weeks ago. The Pens are trying to ensure that Detroit, a non-playoff team, doesn't sweep them this year and are battling to maintain their post-season placement in one game.
History is usually on the Penguins' side against the Wings. They've won three of the last four in Detroit. But this year their luck has been flipped upside down. They blew a four-goal lead to the Red Wings in their first meeting in December and lost to them again two Tuesdays ago by a touchdown and an extra point. That game saw Detroit's David Perron drop a hat trick on the Pens. It was a complete thumping.
This contest like every game from here on out is no gimme for Pittsburgh as they lack any room for error. It's high-stakes hockey.
Pens Game #80: Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings
Date: April 8, 2023
Time: 1 PM (ET)
Place: Detroit, MI
Venue: Little Caesars Arena
National Broadcast: ABC
Canadian Broadcast: Sportsnet
Online Stream: ESPN+
Penguins Radio: 105.9 The X/Penguins Radio Network
Red Wings Radio: WXYT-FM 97.1
Records- PIT: 39-30-10, DET: 35-33-10
Last 10- PIT: 5-5-0, DET: 5-4-1
Streaks- PIT: 1 Win, DET: 1 Loss
Standings- PIT: 19th, DET: 23rd
Points- PIT: 88, DET: 80
PIT: Eastern Conference #9, 1 point out of 2nd Eastern Wildcard spot.
DET: Officially eliminated.
Season Series- 2-0 DET
Series Goals For- PIT: 8, DET: 12
Team Analytics Comparison:
Confirmed 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: 23-12-6, 2.94 GAA, .909 SV%
Career vs. DET: 2-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .954 SV%
-Ville Husso- #35
[Detroit Red Wings]
Bio Info: 6' 3", 200 lbs. DOB: 2/6/1995 (28). From: Helsinki, Finland.
Drafted: 2014- Rd 4, Pk 94 (STL). Experience: 3rd Season.
Record: 26-19-7, 3.01 GAA, .899 SV%
Career vs. PIT: 0-0-1, 4.27 GAA, .895 SV%
Jan Rutta (D) returned to the line-up last Thursday against the Wild. Chad Ruhwedel was the man scratched in his place.
There is some intrigue for the Pens on their player statuses ahead of this one. Alexander Nylander (F) was once again recalled on an emergency basis for the second time in two days. He did not even play on Thursday before being sent back down to the AHL just after the puck dropped against Minnesota. What he's immediately doing back here is a mystery and suggests the Penguins are dealing with a new ailment in their locker room. All of Drew O'Connor, Mikael Granlund, and Jason Zucker were dinged up at times vs. the Wild. Nylander's presence suggests a forward's status is at risk, we might get more news at Coach Sullivan's pregame presser.
Milestone Watch: Keep an eye on Rickard Rakell today who has been hot recently and is two goals away from reaching 30 goals for the season and 60 points for the season.
NEXT UP: The home finale and “Fan Appreciation Night” on Tuesday against Chicago at pPG Paints arena in what could be the last game there this season. That's followed by the regular season finale on Thursday, April 13th on the road in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. And should they make them, the Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin four days after that on April 17th.
-Nick Bonino (F): LTIR, lacerated kidney, out until 4/4.
-Dmitry Kulikov (D): LTIR, lower body, out until 4/6.
-Marcus Pettersson (D): LTIR, lower body, week-to-week.
The projected Penguins lines for Saturday, April 8, 2023, at the Detroit Red Wings:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell
Danton Heinen - Ryan Poehling - Mikael Granlund
Drew O’Connor - Jeff Carter - Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
P.O. Joseph - Jeff Petry
Mark Friedman - Jan Rutta
PP1: Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Rakell, Guentzel
PP2: Joseph, Zucker, Rust, Granlund, Carter
PK1: Poehling, Rust, Dumoulin, Petry
PK2: Granlund, Archibald, Rutta, Letang
Red Wings Update:
The Wings were sellers at the deadline as their rebuild drags on another season. They off-loaded a large amount of talent like forwards Tyler Bertuzzi and Jakub Vrana. They're also dealing with some significant injury losses, as listed below.
Detroit was also officially eliminated from playoff contention yesterday, making it their seventh consecutive year missing the post-season.
-Trade Deadline Movements-
Key players added: Forward- Dylan McLaughlin, Danny O'Regan, Jasper Weatherby.
Key players lost: Forward- Tyler Bertuzzi, Kyle Criscuolo, Michael Del Zotto, Oskar Sundqvist, Jakub Vrana. Defense- D Filip Hronek.
-2022-23 Red Wings Team Leaders vs. Penguins-
Goals: David Perron- 4.
Assists: Andrew Copp, Dylan Larkin, Jordan Oesterle, Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider, Pius Suter- 2.
Points: Dylan Larkin, David Perron- 4.
Plus/Minus: Moritz Seider- +5.
PIM: David Perron- 4.
Shots: Dylan Larkin- 9.
Hits: Adam Erne- 9.
Blocks: Jake Walman- 7.
Takeaways: Jake Walman- 3.
Faceoff Win %: Michael Rasmussen- 62.5%
-Robby Fabbri (F): lower body, out for season.
-Marco Kasper (F): lower body, out for season.
-Mark Pysyk (D): IR, achilles, out for season.
-Michael Rasmussen (F): IR, lower body, out indefinitely.
-Filip Zadina (F): lower body, day-to-day.
For The Penguins: Bryan Rust. Rust is still as hot as can be, with four goals and five points in the last five games. "Big Game" is the guy the Pens' will look to in the clutch today.
For The Red Wings: David Perron. Perron scored a hat trick on his former Pens' team just last week and has an excellent recent performance streak of seven points in the last five games. That spell includes three goals in just the last two games alone.