The Pittsburgh Penguins are one-for-one on their current road trip through Western Canada. In their second game of the trip, the Penguins head to Edmonton for their second meeting with the Oilers. Pittsburgh used some late-game heroics against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday to come away with a 5-4 shootout victory. The Oilers have had a rough season thus far, losing four of their last five games. Their latest game saw them fall at the hand of the St. Louis Blues, 5-2, on Tuesday.
When and where: Rexall Place (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada); 10:00 pm/et (Root Sports, TSN)
Records: Penguins (32-12-1, 65 pts.); Oilers (14-27-5, 33 pts.)
Season series: Penguins lead 1-0
Last meeting: The Penguins and Oilers already met early this season on October 15th in Pittsburgh for the first game of their season home-and-home series. The two teams exchanged goals, put the Penguins got the last goal to get the 3-2 victory. Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, and Evgeni Malkin all scored for Pittsburgh while Ales Hemsky and Jordan Eberle tallied for Edmonton. Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his fifth straight victory to open the season, stopping twenty shots.
Who to keep an eye on:
1. Oilers’ top line: Tonight, the Oilers’ top line will consist of first round picks, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Sam Gagner. All that talent on one line will be a difficult task to defend against for the Penguins.
2. Chris Kunitz: The thirty-four year old Olympian is currently on a five-game point streak. In those five games, Kunitz has scored three points in one game twice, and will be looking to repeat that tonight against a struggling Edmonton squad.
Ex-Penguin alert: D Andrew Ference (1999-2003), D Corey Potter (Appeared in one game in 2011), LW Steve MacIntyre (2011-2013), Asst. Coach Kelly Buchberger (2003-2004)
Penguins: G Tomas Vokoun (blood clot), D Paul Martin (broken tibia), RW Beau Bennett (wrist/hand), C Andrew Ebbett (broken ankle), C Jayson Megna (lower body), RW Pascal Dupuis (knee), RW Chris Conner (hand), RW Chuck Kobasew (lower body)
Oilers: LW Steve MacIntyre (knee), LW Ryan Hamilton (knee), RW Tyler Pitlick (knee), G Richard Bachman (groin), D Philip Larsen (illness), RW Ales Hemsky (upper body)
-With the pairing of Brooks Orpik and Simon Despres not working out too well Tuesday night, it looks like Orpik will be teamed with Robert Bortuzzo tonight.
-Devan Dubnyk is making his first start in goal for the Oilers since the second of this month in San Jose.
-19th-best penalty kill (Oilers) vs. 2nd-best power play (Penguins). Oof.
-In five career games against Edmonton, Sidney Crosby has seven points, but zero goals.
Projected lines (via penguins.nhl.com):
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-49 Brian Gibbons
36 Jussi Jokinen-71 Evgeni Malkin (A)-18 James Neal
15 Tanner Glass-16 Brandon Sutter-17 Taylor Pyatt
5 Deryk Engelland-46 Joe Vitale-27 Craig Adams
4 Rob Scuderi-58 Kris Letang
3 Olli Maatta-2 Matt Niskanen
44 Brooks Orpik-41 Robert Bortuzzo
37 Jeff Zatkoff (7-2-1, .910 save %, 2.52 GAA, 1 SO)
4 Taylor Hall (A)-93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-89 Sam Gagner
64 Nail Yakupov-26 Mark Arcobello-14 Jordan Eberle
57 David Perron-27 Boyd Gordon-83 Ales Hemsky
20 Luke Gadzic-94 Ryan Smyth-28 Ryan Jones
21 Andrew Ference (C)-19 Justin Schultz
77 Anton Belov-2 Jeff Petry
15 Nick Schultz (A)-85 Martin Marincin
40 Devan Dubnyk (10-16-2, .895 save %, 3.31 GAA, 2 SO)