When: 10:30pm Eastern
How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, Fox Sports West
Opponent Track: No team in the NHL has fewer points in the standings today than the Kings. They’ve lost four of the five games that they’ve played so far in the calendar 2019, including a 4-1 contest at home on Thursday against Ottawa in their last game. Like Anaheim, LA’s offense is also sputtering scoring 1, 1, 4, 2 and 0 goals in those last five games for an anemic 2.0 goals per game.
Pens Refresh: Winners now of 10 of their last 11 games, the Pens are riding high right now after making a massive comeback over Anaheim last night.
Season series: LA already made their trip to Pittsburgh, which came last month on December 15th. The Pens won 4-3 in overtime with goals coming from Cullen, Rust, Pearson and Kessel with the winner. It was Matt Murray’s first game back returning from injury.
SBN Team Counterpart: Jewels from the Crown
Player stats at a glance
—Troubling outlook. There’s not a ton of young talent here from ages 18-24 in the NHL (Kempe and Iafallo are nice players but hardly enough) and the veterans like Carter and Kovalchuk aren’t producing like a decade ago.
—7 goals on the season for Clifford is a bit surprising, it already ties a career high for the tough guy.
—Old friend Carl Hagelin has been back for only three games after suffering a knee injury soon after the trade that sent him away from Pittsburgh. He figures to get moved again before the trade deadline if LA wants to start massing future assets.
Ilya Kovalchuk - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Alex Iafallo - Jeff Carter - Brandon Leipsic
Carl Hagelin - Adrian Kempe - Tyler Toffoli
Kyle Clifford - Nate Thompson - Austin Wagner
Derek Forbort / Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin / Alec Martinez
Dion Phaneuf / Oscar Fantenberg
And now for the Pens
This is game two of the five game western road swing. After tonight the Pens will head north to San Jose, who they’ll play on Tuesday night. After that they’re desert bound to meet Arizona on Friday and then a quick jaunt over to Las Vegas next Saturday night before coming back to Pittsburgh.
Lines (based off Friday game)
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Tanner Pearson - Evgeni Malkin - Dominik Simon
Riley Sheahan - Derick Brassard - Phil Kessel
Garrett Wilson - Matt Cullen - Derek Grant
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
Olli Maatta / Jamie Oleksiak
Marcus Pettersson / Jack Johnson
Expected scratches: Juuso Riikola (healthy), Chad Ruhwedel (healthy)
—Nice to see from last night the wingers like Guentzel (3g), Pearson (2g) and Kessel (1g+2a) really step up and help lead the charge.
—Pearson is up to 8 goals and 4 assists in 28 games with the Pens. Considering he played through an injury they initially thought would cost him a month and was largely ineffective during that time, Pearson has been very productive in the span where he has been healthy.