Wild vs. Penguins Preview: Wildin’ Down To The Wire
Spring Flowers might bring playoff storm showers for the Pens as Marc-Andre Fleury and the Wild visit town.
It's increasingly looking like the Penguins might not crack 40 wins this season as they currently sit at 38-30-10. They also might not break the 90-point mark either since they sit at 86 with just three games to go.
The Pens will ironically face being put even further out of contention by a team built by and with a heap of their discarded players who are succeeding elsewhere: Wild General Manager Bill Guerin, players Marc-Andre Fluery, Freddy Gaudreau, Oskar Sundqvist, Calen Addison, Filip Gustavsson, Alex Goligoski, and Ryan Reaves. Ray Shero, the former Pens GM who built the team's current core is also a special advisor to GM Bill Guerin his former deputy with the Penguins. It's an ironic twist of fate for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The drama is at peak levels.
Here's a look at the updated wildcard positioning ahead of this matchup, with the Pens back out on the outside:
And the bleaker-looking updated playoff odds by MoneyPuck which are inching closer to under 40%:
Pens Game #79: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Minnesota Wild
Date: April 6, 2023
Time: 7 PM (ET)
Place: Pittsburgh, PA
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Social Media Hashtags #: #LetsGoPens #MNWild
Penguins Broadcast: AT&T Sportsnet
Wild Broadcasts: Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Wisconsin
Canadian Broadcasts: SN360, SNE, SNW, SNP
Online Stream: ESPN+
Penguins Radio: 105.9 The X/Penguins Radio Network
Wild Radio: KFAN 100.3
Records- PIT: 38-30-10, MIN: 44-23-10
Last 10- PIT: 4-6-0, MIN: 6-2-2
Streaks- PIT: 1 Loss, MIN: 2 Losses
Standings- PIT: 19th, MIN: 11th
Points- PIT: 86, MIN: 98
PIT: Eastern Conference #9, 1 point out of 2nd Eastern Wildcard spot.
MIN: Western Conference #6, Clinched 3rd Central Division playoff spot.
Season Series- 1-0 PIT
Series Goals For- PIT: 6, MIN: 4
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: 22-12-6, 2.99 GAA, .908 SV%
Career vs. MIN: 2-0-1, 3.58 GAA, .880 SV%
-Marc-Andre Fleury- #29
Bio Info: 6' 2", 185 lbs. DOB: 11/28/1984 (38). From: Sorel, QC.
Drafted: 2003: Rd 1, Pk 1 (PIT). Experience: 20th Season.
Record: 24-14-4, 2.82 GAA, .910 SV%
Career vs. PIT: 4-3-0, 3.06 GAA, .905 SV%
Jan Rutta (D) joined practice today as a full-contact participant. The injured Pens players were all forecasted to return before the end of the regular season but no further update has been given on the timeline.
NEXT UP: Right back to Detroit on Saturday where the Penguins just lost 7-4. Then the Home Finale on Tuesday night against Chicago. Followed by the Regular Season Finale at the Blue Jackets a week from tonight in Columbus.
-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.
-Jan Rutta (D): lower body, week-to-week
The projected Penguins lines for Thursday, April 6, 2023, vs. the Minnesota Wild:
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 - Chad Ruhwedel
PP1: Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Rakell, Guentzel
PP2: Joseph, Zucker, Rust, Granlund, Carter
PK1: Poehling, Rust, Dumoulin, Petry
PK2: Granlund, Archibald, Ruhwedel, Letang
The Wild refreshed their roster with depth at the deadline without losing significant assets as you can see below. It was a nice group of moves for them and should help fuel a playoff run. Minnesota has already clinched their post-season spot.
-Trade Deadline Movements-
Key players added: Forwards- Marcus Johansson, Gustav Nyquist, Oskar Sundqvist. Defense- John Klingberg.
Key players lost: Forwards- Jordan Greenway, Nikita Nesterenko. Defense- Andrej Sustr.
-Kirill Kaprizov (F): lower body, day-to-day.
-Gustav Nyquist (F): shoulder, day-to-day.
-Mason Shaw (F): torn ACL, out for season.
For The Penguins: Bryan Rust. Bryan has been finding the back of the net like a hound dog on the hunt lately. He's produced a three-game goal streak with four goals in that span. "Rusty" also has points in four of the last five games played.
For The Wild: Matt Boldy. Youngster Matt Boldy is now a 30-goal NHL scorer in just his first full season. He's certainly showing a promising future with that level of prolific output. The budding star has six points in his last four games, five of which are goals. Boldy might be a newer name on the Wild roster but one to be sure to take notice of tonight.