When: 6:30 p.m. eastern (half hour earlier than normal start!)
How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, MSG+ in the New York area, NBCSN nationally
Opponent Track: The Islanders have won two straight and are looking to close out the Penguins tonight. The Nassau Coliseum is also officially on death watch, with this potentially being the last NHL game scheduled for the old barn, pending the results..
Pens path ahead: A Game 7, if the Pens win tonight, will be Friday back in Pittsburgh.
SBN Team Counterpart: Check out Lighthouse Hockey for the latest news to know about the Islanders.
Possible Game 6 Lines
Leo Komarov - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey
Kyle Palmieri - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Oliver Wahlstrom/Travis Zajac*
Cal Clutterbuck - Casey Cizikas - Matt Martin
Adam Pelech / Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy / Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene / Noah Dobson
Starting goalie: Ilya Sorokin
Scratches: Ross Johnston, Anatoly Golyshev, Simon Holmstrom, Kieffer Bellows, Otto Koivula, Austin Czarnik, Michael Del Colle, Cole Bardeau, Dmytro Timashev, Braydon Coburn, Samuel Bolduc, Bode Wilde, Grant Hutton, Sebastian Aho, Ken Appleby, Cory Schneider
IR: Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk
—There was no official update on Wahlstrom, who left Monday night’s game after a nasty collision and impact. The way his head and neck whipped around, I can’t imagine he would be cleared to play, but never say never this time of year. Reports from New York say Travis Zajac (a healthy scratch to date this playoff) would be the most likely replacement for Wahlstrom, if he is unavailable, though the exact line configurations remain currently unknown or at least unannounced.
—Attendance at the Coliseum for Game 4 was 6,800, that has now changed and about 9,000 fans are expected to be at the rink tonight to make for a more raucous crowd.
And now for the Pens..
Game 5 lines
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker- Evgeni Malkin - Kasperi Kapanen
Jared McCann - Jeff Carter - Frederick Gaudreau
Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Brandon Tanev
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
Mike Matheson / Cody Ceci
Marcus Pettersson / John Marino
Starting goalie: Tristan Jarry
Scratches: Evan Rodrigues, Colton Sceviour, Sam Lafferty, Radim Zohorna, Mark Jankowski, Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Friedman, Yannick Weber, Casey DeSmith
—New dad Bryan Rust was excused from practice yesterday to spend more time with his baby and wife before the team leaves for NY, which Rust will rejoin the Pens. Evan Rodrigues took Rust’s spot on the first line for the day, also an indication Rodrigues won’t be playing today in Game 6 since he was just holding Rust’s spot in practice.
—Jason Zucker didn’t skate and was termed “maintenance”. Colton Sceviour was the placeholder on the Malkin line, with all other lines remaining in tact. That’s an indication the team expects Zucker to play tonight and there will likely be no lineup changes, unless something unforeseen with Zucker lingers. The same lines are what they are, but for Zucker to be something less than 100% is not an encouraging sign for a player in a key spot..
—Casey DeSmith did not practice with the team and has been ruled out for traveling to NY for Game 6. Just in case there was any question there about a possible return. Maxime Lagace took extra work after practice and Tristan Jarry left the ice, a sign the Pens aren’t planning on a goalie switch, just in case there was any question..
Jarry and team ready to move on
Tristan Jarry seemed pretty outwardly measured and is ready to move onto Game 6. We’ll see if he can.
Tristan Jarry on how he feels going into Game 6: “My mindset has been the same all year, just get better and better every day. Just practicing here, it's another day, another practice and it’s another chance to get better."— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) May 25, 2021
Mike Matheson on spirits being high today: "I think they have to be. We don’t really have any choice but to move past that game and get ready for the next one. It serves us no use to come in and feel sorry for ourselves or anything like that." https://t.co/r3l8BqbmXS— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) May 25, 2021
Backs to the wall
Some notes from the Penguins PR department:
- Pittsburgh is 4-3 all-time under head coach Mike Sullivan when facing elimination in a playoff series.
- The Penguins have an all-time series record of 7-8 in best-of-seven playoff series when entering Game 6 down, 3-2, in the series. In those series where Pittsburgh has home-ice advantage, they are 3-3.
- The Penguins are 19-10 all-time under head coach Mike Sullivan in the playoffs following a loss (7-1 in 2016; 7-2 in 2017; 3-2 in 2018; 0-3 in 2019; 1-1 in 2020; 1-1 in 2021).