Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (15-8-4, 34 points, 3rd place Metropolitan Division) @ Buffalo Sabres (12-13-2, 26 points, 7th place Atlantic Division)
When: 7:00 p.m. Eastern
How to Watch: AT&T Sports Network Pittsburgh (ATTSN-PT) for the home team, MSG-B for the visitors, Sling TV, ESPN+
Opponent Track: The Sabres have yet to win a game this season where they score three or fewer goals. They are 3-2 in their last five games, including that stunning 9-4 win in Columbus— but 0-10 when scoring fewer than four times.
Pens Path Ahead: The Penguins begin the week at home when Tage Thompson-esque scorer Jason Robertson and the Stars come to town on Monday. The team then returns to the road for two away games, in Florida on Thursday and Carolina on Sunday.
Season Series: This game closes out the season series with the Sabres, which began with a blown-lead 6-3 loss in Buffalo on November 2 before the Penguins got their revenge in OT last night.
Getting to know the Sabres
SB Nation counterpart: Die by the Blade
Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch
JJ Peterka - Dylan Cozens - Jack Quinn
Casey Mittelstadt - Tyson Jost - Victor Olofsson
Zemgus Girgensons - Peyton Krebs - Kyle Okposo
Mattias Samuelsson / Rasmus Dahlin
Owen Power / Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson / Lawrence Pilut
Goalies: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Craig Anderson)
Scratches: Casey Fitzgerald, Vinnie Hinostroza, Rasmus Asplund
IR: Ben Bishop, Ilya Lyubushkin, Eric Comrie
- Craig Anderson (29 saves on 33 shots for a .879 SV%) started on Friday, so the Penguins will be facing backup Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen tonight. Luukkonen’s numbers are not great through six starts— he has a .853 save percentage and 4.15 goals-against average— but with a team as high-scoring as the Sabres, you can still win while allowing a few against. He won his past two starts while allowing seven goals against.
- Jeff Skinner, who scored against the Penguins on Friday night, has eight goals in his last nine games.
- After scoring seven goals in his previous three games, Tage Thompson was held to just an assist on Friday. Can the Penguins hold him off for two games in a row?
Head to head
- The Penguins got a pair of power-play goals (although one game in OT, not with the regular PP1 setup) against the Sabres’ penalty kill on Friday. Could another game against this struggling kill help revamp the Penguins’ stale power play?
And now for the Pens...
Potential Game Lines
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn - Jeff Carter - Kasperi Kapanen
Danton Heinen - Teddy Blueger - Josh Archibald
Marcus Pettersson / Jeff Petry
Brian Dumoulin / Jan Rutta
P.O. Joseph / Chad Ruhwedel
Goalies: Casey DeSmith (Tristan Jarry started last night)
Scratches: Kris Letang (stroke), Ryan Poehling
- Injury updates: Ryan Poehling skated in a no-contact jersey at Friday’s optional morning state and is still day-to-day with an upper body injury. Kris Letang skated in a regular jersey and is now also at “day-to-day” status.
- Heading into this weekend, in the second half of back-to-back sets of games, the Penguins are 1-4-1 and have been outscored 25-15. The Sabres are 1-3-0, scored 14 goals and allowed 17 against.