PENS GAME #24: PENGUINS AT AVALANCHE
The "Battle Of The Nova Scotia Boys" commences tonight as the Penguins and Sidney Crosby take on the Avalanche and Nathan MacKinnon for the first time this season.
Pittsburgh Penguins (10-8-5) at Colorado Avalanche (14-6-4) at Pepsi Center in Denver, CO at 9:30PM (EST)
These are two hot teams that are set to collide in what is has to be one of the league's most exciting match-ups this week.
Coming into tonight's game the Pens have won their last 2 and have point in their last 5 games, while the Avs have won their last 5 and scored points in their last 8 games. Both racked up victories last night and are now set to clash on the second half of back-to-back series for each.
The Penguins have finally won 2 games in a row for the first time in over a month and 3 of their last 4. They've put 8 goals in those last 2 games. And they continue to get scoring from all over their roster, which is one of the most important breakthroughs the team has made this season.
Colorado are another difficult team to face at a time when the Pens are aiming to continue gathering momentum, however. They sit 2nd best in the Western Conference and 2nd in their division. The Avs' also have the NHL's top two scorers in Nate MacKinnon and the leader Mikko Rantanen.
The Pens will have to put up another scrappy and total team performance to topple the one of the West's best in the Avalanche.
Here are the game details...
PENS BULLET POINTS
MATCH-UP INFORMATIONAL BREAKDOWN
[*Projected Starting Goalies*]
Tristan Jarry (PIT): 23-years-old, 6’2”/194lb, 2 year NHL Veteran, 2013 Round 2 Draft Pick (Records- 2018-19: 0W-0L-1OT in 1GP; Last Season: 14W-6L-2OTL in 26GP; Career: 14W-7L-1OTL in 28GP | Goals Against Average- 2018-19: 1.94; Last Season: 2.77; Career: 2.75)
Philipp Grubauer (COL): 27-years-old, 6'1"/191lb, 6 year NHL Veteran, 2010 Round 4 Draft Pick (Records- 2018-19: 5W-1L-2OTL in 8GP; Last Season: 15W-10L-3OTL in 35GP; Career: 48W-32L-13OTL in 109GP | Goals Against Average- 2018-19: 3.07; Last Season: 2.35; Career: 2.35)
Penguins: 25 Points, Metropolitan Division- 6th, Eastern Conference- 11th
Avalanche: 32 Points, Central Division- 2nd, Western Conference- 2nd
Penguins: 2 Wins
Avalanche: 5 Wins
Goals For & Against:
Penguins: Goals For- 78; Goals Against- 74
Avalanche: Goals For- 89; Goals Against- 67
Home vs. Away Records:
Penguins Away Record: 5-3-3
Avalanche Home Record: 5-2-2
Team Physical Averages:
Penguins: Average Size- 6'1"/199lbs, Average Age- 28.04
Avalanche: Average Size- 6'0"/201lbs, Average Age- 25.58
Penguins Alumni for COL: Ian Cole, Ast. Coach Jacques Martin, (AHL- David Warsofsky).
Avalanche Alumni for PIT: None.
COL Locals for Penguins: None.
PIT Locals for Avalanche: None.
-Goals- #1-Guentzel (11), #2- Kessel/Crosby (10), #3- Malkin/Hornqvist (9)
-Assists- #1-Malkin (21), #2-Kessel (18), #3-Crosby/Letang (15)
-Points- #1-Malkin (30), #2-Kessel (28), #3- Crosby (25)
-Shots- #1-Letang (73), #2-Kessel (69), #3-Hornqvist (67)
-Goals- #1-MacKinnon (17), #2-Landeskog (14), #3-Rantanen (10)
-Assists- #1-Rantanen (30), #2-MacKinnon (20), #3-Barrie (17)
-Points- #1-Rantanen (40), #2-MacKinnon (37), #3-Landeskog (26)
-Shots- #1-MacKinnon (106), #2-Landeskog (69), #3-Rantanen (54)
-Penguins vs. Avalanche History-
Cup Count: Pens- 5, Avalanche- 2
Season Series vs. Avalanche: 0-0, First game
Last Season Series vs. Avalanche: 0W-2L (With 3 Goals For, 6 Goals Against)
All-Time Record vs.Avalanche: 38W-39L-7T-2OTL in 86GP
All-Time Record of Pens at Pepsi Center: 5W-6L-1OTL in 12GP
[Based on last game lines, practice lines, announced line-up changes, etc.]
Guentzel | Crosby | Simon
Pearson | Malkin | Kessel
Aston-Reese | Brassard | Rust
Wilson | Grant | Sheahan
Dumoulin | Letang
Maatta | Riikola
Johnson | Oleksiak
S: Jarry | B: DeSmith
[Scratches: Chad Ruhwedel, Daniel Sprong | Injured: Matt Cullen (Lower Body Injury, IR), Patric Hornqvist (Concussion), Matt Murray (Lower Body Injury, IR), Justin Schultz (Fractured Leg, IR).]
CURRENT PERFORMANCE HIGHS/STREAKS
-Sidney Crosby has points in 6 of his last 7 games and goals in 4 of his last 7 played. (Stretching back pre-injury to 11/13.)
-Derek Grant has a 2 game point streak (and 3 points in his last 2 games).
-Jake Guentzel has points in 4 of the last 5 games and goals in 3 of the last 5 games.
-Jack Johnson has points in 2 of the last 6 games.
-Phil Kessel has a 9 game point streak, a 4 game assist streak, and assists in 8 of the last 9 games.
-Kris Letang has a 4 game point streak, points in 6 of the last 7 games, and 6 assists in the last 4 games.
-Olli Maatta has points in 2 of the last 4 games
-Evgeni Malkin has points in 7 of the last 8 games, goals in 2 of the last 4 games, and 2-point games in 3 of the last 7 games.
-Jamie Oleksiak has points in 2 of the last 4 games.
-Tanner Pearson has goals in 3 of the last 5 games and points in 3 of the last 5 games.
-Dominik Simon has 2 assists in the last 2 games for a 2 game point streak.
FINAL NOTES ON THE GAME
-The Crosby vs. MacKinnon duel facts this season: MacKinnon leads of the two by 17-10 in goals and 20-15 in assists vs. Sidney Crosby.
-The Penguins are 14-0-2 in their last 16 games against the Western Conference. This is their longest streak of that kind in the history of the club.
-Pens offense stats: the team is averaging 3.4 goals per game and scoring on 24.6% on the power play.
-Pens defensive stats: the Pens are allowing an average of 3.1 goals against per game and are killing 82.4% of opposing power plays.
-The Penguins are 5-2 in the last 7 trips to Colorado. But dropped the season series 0-2 vs. the Avs last season.
-Phil Kessel's 9 game point streak extended vs. the Jets has matched his career-high point streak and is his longest point streak ever as a Pittsburgh Penguin.
-Sidney Crosby has scored 11 of his 25 season points in just his last 7 games.
-Their win in Winnipeg make it a perfect 4-0 record for the Penguins playing in Western Canada this season. (Winning in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.)
-For the first time all season the Pens got 3 goals from their bottom six forwards in their win vs. the Jets.
EXTRA MISC. THOUGHTS & INFO
*Congrats to several Penguins on a myriad of milestones achieved in last night's game vs. Winnipeg: Kris Letang on becoming the Pens' all-time games played leader for defensemen with 704 games. Jake Guentzel and Olli Maatta for both reaching 100 career points with their assists. Derek Grant on his first goal as a Penguin. And to Garrett Wilson on his first point as a Penguin. Good nights work, guys!
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