Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (2-1-0, 4 points, 2nd place Metropolitan Division) @ Detroit Red Wings (2-1-0, 4 points, 3rd place Atlantic Division)
When: 7:30 p.m. ET
How to Watch: Nationally broadcast game on TNT, streaming on the Max app
Pens’ Path Ahead: The Pens play again on Saturday in St. Louis and then start a four-game home-stand next Tuesday (10/24) that will see Pittsburgh host Dallas, Colorado, Ottawa and Anaheim to finish out the month.
Opponent Track: Detroit began their 2023-24 season with a 4-3 loss to New Jersey before bouncing back with wins in their last two outings (6-4 on Saturday night on the road in Tampa and then a 4-0 road shutout over Columbus on Monday).
Season Series: Tonight is the Pens’ only trip to the Motor City this season. The Red Wings visit Pittsburgh on St. Patrick’s Day and then one more time on April 11th near the end of the season.
Last Year: The Pens went 1-1-1 vs. DET last season, with the win marking Pittsburgh’s final one of the 2022-23 season to keep their ill-fated playoff hopes temporarily alive.
Hidden Stat: Pittsburgh enters tomorrow’s game with points in nine of its last 10 contests against Detroit (7-1-2).
Getting to know the Red Wings
Projected Game Lines (from Monday’s game)
Alex Debrincat - Dylan Larkin - Lucas Raymond
Michael Rasmussen - Andrew Copp - J.T. Compher
Daniel Sprong - Joe Veleno - David Perron
Klim Kostin - Austin Czarnik - Christian Fischer
Jake Wallman / Moritz Seider
Olli Maatta / Shayne Gotisbehere
Ben Chariot / Justin Holl
Goalies: James Reimer, Ville Husso and Alex Lyon
Possible scratches: Robby Fabbri (day-to-day injury), Jeff Petry
IR: Matt Luff
—Due to the logjam goalies around the league catching interest on the waiver wire, Detroit is opting to carry three netminders for the time being and unwilling to risk Lyon to the waiver wire. The Red Wings are carrying plenty of cap space to make the accommodation possible, though it will be interesting to see what the long-term plan is about the awkward situation of having three goalies with the team.
—Aside from the sentimental aspects of bringing back a hometown player whose father starred for the baseball team, the Red Wings acquiring Petry didn’t make much sense for a fit on the ice, considering Detroit’s previous roster building to have plenty of middle/bottom-end defenders. Petry was already a healthy scratch by the third game of the season and Detroit allowed zero goals.
—It’s early but initial returns have been very positive for several of the new players brought in. Alex Debrincat was bouncing around a little from Chicago to Ottawa to know Detroit in the last three seasons, but found a home and long-term contract with his home state team. It’s been a productive start. Free agent signings J.T. Compher, Shayne Gotisbehere and Daniel Sprong have also all gotten off to great starts.
—Husso is by far the highest-paid goalie on the team, but surrendered seven total goals his first two starts of the year and has failed to launch as the expected top goalie. Reimer came in and earned a shutout win and presumably is the hot hand Detroit will look to for now.
—Plenty of former Pens hangin’ around Detroit these days with Sprong, Petry, Perron and Maatta all on the roster. Zach Aston-Reese was also signed by Detroit following his tryout in Carolina, but assigned to the AHL earlier in the week.
So far in Detroit, special teams have been...special
Coach Derek Lalonde after the power play went 2/5 against Columbus on Monday and the PK went 4/4.
“The special teams have been really good through camp. Detailed and clicking very well. You would hope it would continue into the regular season, obviously it’s always different, but it has. Hopefully, we keep building on that.”
Overall, Detroit’s power play has started out the season at 40%, 4-for-10. It’s been extremely balanced with four different players chipping in one PPG a piece, and having nine different Red Wings already with a power play point. The top group features a bit of a throw-back with two defensement in Gotisbehere and Seider joining Larkin, Debrincat and Perron, instead of the typical 4F/1D split.
The PK isn’t far behind at 83.3% (successfully killing off 10-of-12). The team’s top PKers by ice-time are Compher and Copp up front, and the first pair of Wallman-Seider together, with Larkin and Rasmussen getting regular shifts and Holl and Chiarot working there as well.
And now for the Pens...
Infographic courtesy of the Penguins
Projected Game Lines (from yesterday’s practice)
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Reilly Smith - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell
Drew O’Connor - Lars Eller - Jansen Harkins
Matt Nieto - Noel Acciari - Jeff Carter
Ryan Graves / Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson / Erik Karlsson
P.O. Joseph / Chad Ruhwedel
Goalies: Tristan Jarry and Alex Nedeljkovic
Expected scratches: Ryan Shea, John Ludvig
Season opening IR: Raivis Ansons, Will Butcher
—It was all systems go for the Pens yesterday, who practiced again in the same expected setup and having all players available after an off day on Monday. As a little aside, even though the next two games are on the road, based on the team’s practice bookings, the extra time off before the next game Saturday means the Pens will treat this week as two one-game trips and fly back home instead of an extended two-game road trip away.
—Jarry prepared yesterday as if he would be the starter, Pens PR pointed out that he is 3-0-0 with a 1.34 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage in three career starts versus Detroit.