Buffalo Bruce Boudreau and his new gang, the Minnesota Wild, make their lone appearance in the 'Burgh tonight. So far the season has gotten off to a pretty good start for the Wild with a decent 6-4-1 record. Better than the record is just 22 goals conceded, current lowest in the league.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, they've been one of the worst Corsi teams in the young season (27th at 47.0%) which points to having a good goalie. Devin Dubnyk 's early season numbers are nothing short of jaw-dropping (5-3-1, .951 save %, 1.46 GAA), but hopefully bound for a little regression, hopefully as early as tonight.
Up front, free agent pickup Eric Staal leads the team's forwards in goals (4) and points (8) so far. Defenseman Ryan Suter (3g+7a) leads the entire team in assists and points. Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle (7 points a piece) are also players to keep an eye on. 19 year old rookie Joel Eriksson Ek (2g+3a in 7 games) is off to a very nice start to his career as well.
Expected Minnesota lines
Nino Niederreiter - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle
Mikael Granlund - Mikko Koivu - Jason Pominville
Jason Zucker - Joel Eriksson Ek - Chris Stewart
Jordan Schroeder - Tyler Graovac - Christoph Bertschy
Ryan Suter / Matt Dumba
Christian Folin / Jonas Brodin
Nate Prosser / Jared Spurgeon
Expected Pittsburgh lines
Carl Hagelin - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel
Scott Wilson - Nick Bonino - Bryan Rust
Conor Sheary - Matt Cullen - Eric Fehr
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
Olli Maatta / Trevor Daley
Ian Cole / Justin Schultz
Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start tonight, after Matt Murray has played 3 of the last 4 games. Interestingly enough, Fleury's had a lot of trouble over the years against the Wild which is odd since they're not exactly a power house in the last decade
This ain't good if you're a Fleury fan. He's 2-5 all-time against MIN with an .876 SV% and a 3.36 GAA. Latter two worst against anyone.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) November 10, 2016
I highly doubt this means much or will have any impact on tonight, being as there's so much turnover from year to year, just stats like that are interesting to see how certain players have a lot of success or a lot of difficulty against various opponents over the years.
Also interesting, winning. The Pens will look to get their 3rd in a row tonight. Your gamethread below, ladies and gentlemen.