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Sharks vs. Penguins Preview: Sharks Circling

Will the wounded Penguins be Shark bait?

Pittsburgh Penguins Kris Letang vs. San Jose Sharks Logan Couture
Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images.

Oh, overtime! It was unkind to the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again in Washington on Thursday. They played a strong game but couldn't wrap it up with a win in regulation or OT and were pushed to a shootout after four periods of hockey zapped the energy of their overworked top stars.

The result was a crapshoot of a loss on penalty shots, 3-2 to the Capitals.

It was their fifth trip to extra time in the last six games and the Pens have lost three of those five. It's imperative that the team finally learn how to close in regulation. Not just because their adventures passed 60 minutes have been less than stellar, but because they need to acquire the maximum points available every time they hit the ice while in a tight playoff chase.

On Saturday they'll face San Jose for the first time this season. The 28th-place Sharks are visiting while they're in the second half of a back-to-back set. They lost last night to the Hurricanes in overtime by a score 5-4 after the Canes mounted a huge late comeback.

The Penguins have the advantage on rest and in most departments of on-ice play as the team analytics below show. But as we've seen many times this season the Pens have not won games that should have been easy "gimmes". And the San Jose Sharks are surely that.

Game Info:

Pens Game #49: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. San Jose Sharks

Date: January 28, 2023

Time: 7 PM (ET)

Place: Pittsburgh, PA

Venue: PPG Paints Arena

Broadcasts: Local- ATTSN, National- ESPN+

Social Media Hashtags #: #LetsGoPens #SJSharks

Team Matchup:

Records- PIT: 24-15-9, SJS: 14-25-11

Last 10- PIT: 5-2-3, SJS: 2-5-3

Streaks- PIT: 1 Loss, SJS: 4 Losses

Standings- PIT: 15th, SJS: 28th

Points- PIT: 57, SJS: 39

‘21/22 Season Series- 2-0 PIT

‘21/22 Series Goals For- PIT: 10, SJS: 6

Team Analytics Comparison:

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. San Jose Sharks
Analytics by JFresh Hockey.

Goalie Matchup:

Projected starting goalies-


[Pittsburgh Penguins]

Bio Info: 6' 0", 181 lbs. DOB: 8/13/1991 (31). From: Rochester, NH.

Drafted: Undrafted; Experience: 5th Season.

Record: 7-9-4, 3.26 GAA, .904 SV%

Career vs. SJS: 1-2-0, 3.72 GAA, .885 SV%



[San Jose Sharks]

Bio Info: 6' 2", 215 lbs. DOB: 8/16/1996 (26). From: Helsinki, Finland.

Drafted: 2014: Rd 4, Pk 109 (MIN). Experience: 3rd Season

Record: 5-9-4, 3.88 GAA, .869 SV%

Career vs. PIT: Debut

Penguins Update:

Some details on the injured ranks: D-man Jan Rutta (LTIR, upper body) skated individually ahead of Saturday's morning team practice. Meanwhile forwards Kasperi Kapanen (IR, lower body) and Josh Archibald (LTIR, lower body) both participated fully in team practice once again at the gameday skate.

Another Penguin missing at Saturday morning's skate was the recently recalled #3 goalie Dustin Tokarski who was set to backup Casey DeSmith. Tokarski is off on family leave. Emergency backup goalie Mike Chaisson of the Pittsburgh Penguins' hockey academy served as the second goalie and might be the man tabbed to fill in tonight if Tokarski cannot return to the team in time.

-Injury Report-

-Josh Archibald (F): LTIR, lower body, day-to-day.

-Kasperi Kapanen (F): IR, lower body, week-to-week.

-Tristan Jarry (G): upper body, out until 2/5.

-Jan Rutta (D): LTIR, upper body, day-to-day.

-Pens Lines-

The projected Penguins lines for Saturday, January 28, 2023, vs. the San Jose Sharks:


Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell

Brock McGinn - Teddy Blueger - Jeff Carter

Drew O'Connor - Ryan Poehling - Danton Heinen


Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson - Jeff Petry

P. O. Joseph - Chad Ruhwedel

(Special Teams)

PP1: Malkin, Crosby, Guentzel, Rakell, Letang

PP2: Carter, Rust, Zucker, Heinen, Petry

PK1: Carter/Poehling, Rust, Dumoulin, Petry

PK2: Blueger, McGinn, Ruhwedel, Pettersson

(Special Teams)

PP1: Malkin, Crosby, Guentzel, Rakell, Petry

PP2: Carter, Rust, Zucker, Heinen, Joseph

PK1: Carter, Rust, Dumoulin, Ruhwedel

PK2: Blueger, McGinn, Pettersson, Friedman

Sharks Update:

Waive hello to a couple of our old buddies: two-time Penguins Cup-winning center Nick Bonino (9G, 8A) and former Pens defensive prospect Scott Harrington (1G, 5A) who now don the teal and black.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed the first game of this Sharks' back-to-back series due to illness. His status for tonight is to be determined. He'd be a significant loss for San Jose as their leading defensive player.

-Roster Update-

[Players coming & going since last season]

Key players added: Forwards- Luke Kunin, Oskar Lindblom, F Nico Sturm. Defensemen- Matt Benning, Markus Nutivaara.

Key players lost: Forwards- Rudolf Balcers, Jonathan Dahlen. Defensemen- Brent Burns. Goalie- Adin Hill.

-Injury Report-

-Nikolai Knyzhov (D): Achilles, out until February.

-Luke Kunin (F): ACL surgery, out for 2022-23.

-Markus Nutivaara (D): LTIR, lower body, out indefinitely.

-Radim Simek (D): IR, upper body, undisclosed.

-Marc-Edouard Vlasic (D): illness, day-to-day.

For The Penguins: Sidney Crosby. This space should just be known as simply "The Sidney Crosby Show" because the guy's at it...again! Sid's on a six-game point streak. He's just living on a whole other planet than the rest of the Penguins and the league in general. Crosby excels no matter the overall product the Pens put on ice. 10 points in the last six games alone are proof positive of his continued brilliance. What more can you say that hasn't already been said about him at this point? Always watch Sid.

For The Sharks: Timo Meier. Even the best Sharks' players aren't streaking in any consecutive manner right now, which exemplifies the kind of opportunity this game provides for the Penguins. But Timo Meier, who's rumored to be on the trade block has been generating production semi-regularly. Meier has six points in his last six games, four of which are goals. He's only failed to score in three games all January. And his high yield in that 12-game span totals up to eight goals and three assists. He's a pure finisher who would be deadly when added to the right forward group. Meier's going to be a huge win for whichever team can manage to score him at the trade deadline.

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