After a successful trip to Nashville, the Pittsburgh Penguins hit a snag in San Jose. They look to rebound from a third period collapse against the Sharks with a trip down the California coast to take on the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks are looking to get back on the winning track themselves after dropping a game against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
When and where: Honda Center (Anaheim, CA); 10:00 pm/et (Root Sports, Prime)
Records: Penguins (41-17-4, 86 pts.); Ducks (43-14-6, 92 pts.)
Season series: Penguins lead 1-0
Last meeting: The theme of this road trip is closing out series’. As they did against the Predators and Sharks, the Penguins wrap up their season long home-and-home series against the Ducks as the two met in Pittsburgh back on November 18th. The Penguins used an explosive third period to defeat the Ducks, 3-1, with goals coming from Brian Gibbons, Brandon Sutter, and Sidney Crosby. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped twenty-seven of twenty-eight shots for his twelfth win of the season.
Players to keep an eye on:
1. Ryan Getzlaf & Corey Perry: In eight career games against Pittsburgh, Corey Perry has five goals. In those same eight games, Ryan Getzlaf has four goals. These guys rack up points, and are third and eighth in the league in that statistical category, with Getzlaf ahead of Perry. These two will be a difficult task to shut down.
2. Olli Maatta: The kid has been on fire since the Olympics. With Team Finland, the nineteen year old had three goals and two assists in six games, plus he got a bronze medal. Last night against the Sharks, he scored two goals and was everywhere. If he can keep it up, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be mentioned with Nathan MacKinnon and Valeri Nichushkin in regards to the Calder Trophy.
Ex-Penguin alert: D Ben Lovejoy (2007-2013)
Penguins: G Tomas Vokoun (blood clot), D Paul Martin (broken hand), D Kris Letang (stroke), RW Beau Bennett (wrist), LW Pascal Dupuis (knee), RW Chris Conner (hand), D Robert Bortuzzo (upper body)
Ducks: D Sheldon Souray (wrist), D Stephane Robidas (leg), RW Teemu Selanne (flu), C Mathieu Perreault (upper body)
-If you’re looking for something to watch before the 10 pm/et puck drop, Dan Bylsma will be on Say Yes to the Dress at 9:30 pm/et on TLC as he assists Penguins PR lady, Jennifer Bullano, in finding her a wedding dress (don’t act like you aren’t interested).
-Final game against the Penguins for Teemu Selanne, unless they meet in the Stanley Cup Final.
-Bruce Boudreau still harbors ill feelings towards the Penguins.
Projected lines (via dailyfaceoff.com):
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-49 Brian Gibbons
36 Jussi Jokinen-71 Evgeni Malkin (A)-18 James Neal
17 Taylor Pyatt-16 Brandon Sutter-22 Lee Stempniak
15 Tanner Glass-57 Marcel Goc-27 Craig Adams
44 Brooks Orpik-3 Olli Maatta
4 Rob Scuderi-2 Matt Niskanen
47 Simon Despres-41 Robert Bortuzzo/5 Deryk Engelland
29 Marc-Andre Fleury (32-14-3, .916 save %, 2.32 GAA, 4 SO)
21 Kyle Palmieri-15 Ryan Getzlaf (C)-10 Corey Perry
62 Patrick Maroon-13 Nick Bonino-33 Jakob Silfverberg
34 Daniel Winnik-11 Saku Koivu (A)-7 Andrew Cogliano
39 Matt Beleskey-67 Rickard Rakell-8 Teemu Selanne (A)
23 Francois Beauchemin-47 Hampus Lindholm
6 Ben Lovejoy-4 Cam Fowler
55 Bryan Allen-28 Mark Fistric
1 Jonas Hiller (26-9-5, .917 save %, 2.29 GAA, 5 SO)