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Game 27 Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ St. Louis Blues; 11/30/2019: lines, how to watch

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The Pens play against the defending champs

2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (14-8-4, 32 points, 4th place Metropolitan Division) @ St. Louis Blues (16-5-6, 38 points, 1st place n Division)

When: 8:00 p.m. eastern

How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in the Pittsburgh viewing area, Fox Sports Midwest

Opponent Track: The Blues are also on the second end of a back-to-back set, having won/lost to the Dallas Stars last night in Dallas. Overall they are 4-1-1 in the last six games in the last two weeks.

Pens path ahead: The Pens will go back home after this and welcome St. Louis to conclude the season series in quick fashion. Strangely enough, STL has to play on Monday night in Chicago, so they’ll have a busier week.

Season Series: Tonight and Wednesday are the only two PIT/STL games on the schedule.

Recent history: The Pens were 1-1-0 against the Blues last year, winning huge in St. Louis the last time they were there (a 6-1 win back on Dec. 29th, 2018) but then losing almost as big in the game in Pittsburgh 5-1 on March 16th, 2019 (the game, you might remember, where Malkin got hurt by Robert Bortuzzo using his stick as a weapon on a cross-check, hmm...)

SBN Team Counterpart: Hit up our friends at St. Louis Game Time for all the Blues news and notes you could ever want.

Tale of the Tape

(note, chart does not include Friday games for either team)

—STL has racked up the wins this season, but they don’t stand out in a huge way in th metrics we track here. Still, very great performances in goaltending and a potent power play can often translate to regular season success, and that’s been reflected here.

Player Stats at a Glance

via hockeydb:

(note: also does not include last night’s game)

—Binnington’s picked up right where he left off last season after coming out of the AHL and being one of the game’s best goalies all the way to the Stanley Cup.

—Tarasenko going to down injury has opened up an opportunity and guys like Perron and Schenn have doen their parts to pick up the slack. Perron especially looks very authoritative running the power play from the left wall.

Possible Lines (based on Friday)

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Robert Thomas

Zach Sanford - Ryan O’Reilly - David Perron

Ivan Barbashev - Tyler Bozak - Troy Brouwer

Mackenzie MacEachern - Jacob de la Rose - Nathan Walker

Defense

Vincent Dunn / Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester / Colton Parayko

Derrick Pouliot / Justin Faulk

Suspended: Robert Bortuzzo (will serve 4th game of four game suspension tonight for using his stick as a weapon to cross-check Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson)

Expected scratches: Carl Gunnarsson, Austin Poganski

Injured reserve: Alex Steen, Oskar Sundqvist, Samuel Blais, Vladimir Tarasenko

Jake Allen started last night in Dallas, so it’s likely that it will be No. 1 goalie Jordan Binnington in tonight against the Pens.

—The Blues are up there with the Pens as far as quantity and quality of injuries. Tarasenko underwent shoulder surgery a month ago and is out at least four more month (so, basically the rest of the regular season). Steen has been out for a while too, Blais is out for an extended time and Sundqvist just went down and is “out a while” too.

—Weird to see old friend Pouliot getting a chance. After Vancouver didn’t give him a qualifying offer, STL signed him as a free agent and he’s been in the AHL all season to this point.

And now for the Pens..

Potential Lines (based on Friday game)

Forwards:

Jake Guentzel - Evgeni Malkin - Dominik Simon

Dominik Kahun - Jared McCann - Patric Hornqvist

Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Brandon Tanev

Alex Galchenyuk- Joseph Blandisi - Sam Lafferty

Defense:

Brian Dumoulin/ Kris Letang

Jack Johnson / John Marino

Marcus Pettersson / Zach Trotman

Expected scratches: Juuso Riikola (healthy), Chad Ruhwedel (healthy), Bryan Rust (lower body injury)

Injured: Sidney Crosby (hernia surgery, IR), Nick Bjugstad (lower body injury, IR), Justin Schultz (lower body injury)

—With Jarry playing last night, it’s probably Matt Murray time tonight. On the road. Against the defending champs. Woof, tough assignment when not playing sharply, but such is life in the big leagues for a goalie.