Key Observations Heading into Game 51 Between the Oilers and Penguins

The-Pens-Nation-Gameday-Report1

By Annie Shean (@JustPuckIt)

The Penguins were kept off the scoresheet in a 4-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Sunday afternoon. With the team being outscored 9-2 in their last four games, the team needs to start finding the back of the net if they want to make notches in the win column. The Pens are hitting the road for a three-game trek across western Canada, where they will face the Edmonton Oilers in their first matchup of the season. While the Oilers have the second worst record in the NHL, don’t take them for granted. The team is coming off a thirteen round 5-4 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks, with a game winning shootout goal by Rob Klinkhammer.

Can we add Left Shark to the Lineup? (Sorry for the bad photoshop, I couldn't help myself)

Can we add Left Shark to the Lineup? (Sorry for the bad photoshop, I couldn’t help myself)


The Lineup

Evgeni Malkin will rejoin the lineup tonight after being out with a groin injury. While Christian Ehrhoff (concussion) has not returned to team practices, Blake Comeau (Upper-Body) skated on his own after the team’s practice for the second day in a row.

Marc-Andre Fleury is the starting goaltender, and the expected lines for the game are as follows:

Kunitz-Crosby-Perron
Arcobello-Malkin-Hornqvist
Spaling-Sutter-Downie
Sill-Lapierre-Adams
(Bennett)

Martin-Letang
Scuderi-Despres
Harrington-Bortuzzo
(Pouliot)

Both Taylor Hall and Benoit Pouliot missed the morning skate and were called ‘day-to-day’. They returned to the lineup against he Sharks Monday night, but both left the came early after aggravating their injuries. The expected line combinations based off practice are:

Yakupov-RNH-Eberle
Pakarinen-Roy-Purcell
Fraser-Lander-Gazdic
Hendricks-Gordon-Klinkhammer

Ference-Petry
Klefbom-Schultz
Aulie-Fayne

 

Return to Edmonton
Goal by Perron on 1/18/15 against the New York Rangers (GIF by @JustPuckIt)

Goal by Perron on 1/18/15 against the New York Rangers (GIF by @JustPuckIt)

This will be the first game back in Edmonton for forward David Perron since he was traded to the Penguins. “It’s a great opportunity for me to come to a team with a lot of confidence and no panic at all in their game” Perron said in an interview Monday, “It’s fun to be a part of.” On a nightly basis you can see how happy he is to play, showing energy and gumption in every game. Since his arrival on the Pens he has 9 points, 3 assists, and six goals – helping to light the lamp. You can watch his full interview here.

Keys to the Game

Check that Pulse: After coming off a loss to the Predators we once again are checking the pulse of the team. If The Penguins want to get back into the winning column they are going to have to show energy out there, and stop doing their best ‘walking dead’ impression on the ice.

Continue the Blue Streak: Kris Letang has assisted on all 7 goals for the the Penguins since the All Star break. Look for him to continue to shine with his playmaking abilities to get this team back on track

Don’t be Lazy: The forwards need to make sure they help out the defense by avoiding bad neutral zone turnovers and by finding the speed to back-check and cover their man. Laziness is what we’ve seen, and contrary to belief being lazy doesn’t always mean you’re awesome 😉