Less than 3 weeks ago we had Penguins vs. Ducks from Pittsburgh (a 3-2 Pens win with goals from Ian Cole, Conor Sheary and Phil Kessel). Tonight we get the final game of the Pittsburgh/Anaheim season series (already!) out in California.
The Ducks have had a pretty average start to the season (4-4-2, 25 GF, 23 GA) and are looking to build off of last night's shutout win against their rivals the Los Angeles Kings, with John Gibson making 30 saves and the recently signed RFA Rickard Rickell scoring 3 points in his season debut.
Expected Anaheim lines
Nick Ritchie* - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Joseph Cramarossa - Antoine Vermette - Rickard Rakell
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg
Ryan Garbutt - Chris Wagner - Jared Boll
Cam Fowler / Josh Manson
Shea Theodore / Kevin Bieksa
Sami Vatanen / Clayton Stoner
*Note that Ritchie left part of last night's game after receiving a borderline suspendable hit and at press time of writing it remains unknown if he will play or not.
Aside from Rackell, Cramarossa (largely unknown to us, to be honest) could be a guy to watch who wasn't playing in the last Pens/Ducks game. The 24 year old scored his first career NHL goal last night as was getting some time with Getzlaf/Perry when Ritchie was hurt, so it's possible to be a way different lineup for the Pens to deal with than what they just recently saw.
Expected Pittsburgh lines
Scott Wilson - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel
Carl Hagelin - Nick Bonino - Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl - Matt Cullen - Eric Fehr
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
Olli Maatta / Trevor Daley
Ian Cole / Justin Schultz
Scratches: Tom Sestito, David Warsofsky, Mike Condon
Injured Reserve: Sheary, Derrick Pouliot
It's believed Letang will make a return after a 5 game absence with an upper-body injury. Matt Murray is set to make his NHL debut in the 2016-17 season after working back from a broken thumb.
To go along with the Ducks recent roster changes, the Pens will have some differences for Anaheim to deal with as well with Murray, as well as Crosby's first appearance against ANA this season, and the new tactic of using Malkin+Kessel together.
Grab your coffee it's time for some midnight hockey on the east coast.