Good morning one and all. The Pittsburgh Penguins start a three game road trip today in St. Louis where they will meet the Blues. STL is just 15-16-4 this season, among the worst record in the Western Conference but they are on a two-game winning streak, including a home win on Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres by the score of 4-1.
One interesting point to watch for the Pens tonight will be their scoring depth and team balance, which was in full effect last game in the 5-2 win against Detroit. Both Phil Kessel and Derick Brassard tossed in two goals a piece - a welcome relief since prior to that Sidney Crosby had been on ice (and of course often involved) with the last ten even strength goals scored.
Ideally you would hope and like to see an Evgeni Malkin break our, which as we all know is probably going to happen sooner or later. Malkin does “only” have six goals and 11 assists on the road this year, but he’s only played 17 away games so that is still exactly a point per game rate.
Another aspect to watch will be in net, where Matt Murray has appeared to get back on track after returning from his latest injury that kept him out from the majority of December. The Pens don’t deal with a back-to-back situation for a few more weeks, so this next little stretch could be a real chance for Murray to “take the ball and run with it” so to say if he can keep performing as he has- winning all four starts since coming off the IR, and only surrendering three goals in the last three games.