Game 17 Preview – Penguins at Blues

caseygamedayreport

By: Casey Johnston (@CaseyR82)

Last Game for the Penguins:  Wednesday, a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers.  Kris Letang scored a goal at 14:34 of the second period, but by that point the Rangers already had three.  Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, and Derek Brassard all scored for New York.  In total, 11 different Rangers registered at least a point.  Henrik Lundqvist stopped 28 of 29 shots while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 of 25.

Last Game for the Blues:  Thursday, a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames.  The Blues got goals from Vladimir Tarasenko, Maxim Lapierre, and Alex Steen before Calgary could answer.  Tim Jackman and Mike Cammalleri brought the Flames to within one goal, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Blue held on for the win.  Reto Berra stopped 24 of 27 shots for the Flames while Brian Elliot stopped 18 of 20 shots for the Blues.

Last Time These Two Teams Met:  January 24, 2012.  The Penguins defeated the Blues 3-2 in a shootout.  James Neal and Steve Sullivan scored for the Penguins while Patrik Berglund scored twice for the Blues.  Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz both scored in the shootout while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all but T.J. Oshie.  Fleury stopped 32 of 34 shots for the Penguins.  Brian Elliot stopped 37 of 39 shots for the Blues.

Last 10 Games for the Penguins:  6-4.

Last 10 Games for the Blues:  6-2-2.

Story of the Game:  The Penguins are slowly getting over the injury bug as James Neal has begun practicing with the team and Beau Bennett may play as soon as tonight.  That leaves only Rob Scuderi and Chuck Kobasew out.  This poses an interesting dilemma for the Penguins as two forwards will have to sit for Neal and Bennett.  This will most likely be Deryk Engelland and Jayson Megna.  Neither of these two really deserves to sit, but neither has played anyone else into the press box.  Megna will likely be sent back to WBS for more playing time while Engelland will sit and wait for a forward, or a defenseman, to need a rest.

The play of Alex Steen is the story for St. Louis.  Steen has scored in all but two of St. Louis’ games and is on pace to shatter his previous career-high of 24 goals, even if he doesn’t stay on his current goal-per-game streak.  Steen is a major reason why St. Louis currently sits at third place in the Central Division, just four points behind the Colorado Avalanche.

Penguins All-Time Record Against the Blues:  50-63-18-4.

Blues-Killer on the Penguins:  James Neal has goals in three straight games against the Blues, dating back to his time with the Dallas Stars.

Penguin-Killer on the Blues:  Patrik Berglund had two goals in his last game against the Penguins.