Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (4-6-0, 8 points, 8th place Metropolitan Division) @ Anaheim Ducks (7-4-0, 14 points, 4th place Pacific Division)
When: 10 p.m. ET
How to Watch: SportsNet Pittsburgh for the visitors, Bally Sports SoCal and Bally Sports San Diego for the home team
Pens’ Path Ahead: The Pens finish out this California road trip with a matchup against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. The Kings will be tired, having faced the NHL-best Vegas Golden Knights the night prior.
Opponent Track: The Ducks, who beat the Penguins just over one week ago, are the hottest team in the NHL right now. They’re on a league-best six-game winning streak and just finished out a 4-2 comeback win over the Golden Knights Sunday night. Anaheim was trailing by two goals in the third period when the Ducks scored three times (and added an empty-netter for good measure) to stun the juggernaut Knights into their first relegation loss of the season.
The Anaheim Ducks hand the Vegas Golden Knights their first loss of the regular season. pic.twitter.com/diM7sJ4yDE— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 6, 2023
Season Series: This marks the last time the Pens will face Trevor Zegras, John Gibson and the rest of the Ducks in 2023-24. They’ll hope to even out the season series tonight after losing in a 4-3 heartbreaker last Monday, thanks to a blown 5-on-3 opportunity and a last-second shorthanded goal from Mason McTavish.
Last Year: The Pens triumphed in this season series last season. Jake Guentzel scored 33 seconds into overtime on January 16 to seal a 4-3 win at home, and Pierre-Olivier Joseph scored twice on February 10 to secure a 6-3 road victory.
Hidden Stat: Five of the Ducks’ first seven victories this season have been third-period comeback wins.
Getting to know the Ducks
Projected Game Lines
Trevor Zegras - Leo Carlsson - Troy Terry
Frank Vatrano - Mason McTavish - Ryan Strome
Alex Killorn - Adam Henrique - Jakob Silfverberg
Ross Johnston - Sam Carrick - Brett Leason
Cam Fowler / Jackson LaCombe
Pavel Mintyukov / Ilya Lyubushkin
Urho Vaakanainen / Radko Gudas
Goalies: John Gibson, Lukas Dostal
Possible scratches: Benoit-Olivier Groulx, Max Jones
IR: Isac Lundestrom, Brock McGinn, Chase De Leo, Jamie Drysdale
- Alex Killorn made his Ducks debut Sunday night after recovering from a broken finger that delayed his start to the season. He could return to being a 20-goal scoring threat once he adjusts to his new team following 11 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Second overall pick Leo Carlsson has three goals in his first seven NHL games, in large part thanks to his consistent presence around the goal line.
- Mason McTavish was named one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week on Monday. His five points (3-2—5) in three games included scoring both of the third-period daggers against the Pens last week.
⭐⭐⭐ Mason McTavish registered 3-2—5 in three outings – including points on all three of @AnaheimDucks’ decisive goals – to help this club rally from third-period deficits in each contest to extend their winning streak to six games.#NHLStats: https://t.co/QAdLrT6yw2 pic.twitter.com/Tu5z0y8lam— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 6, 2023
- The Ducks’ comebacks can come from anywhere. It was Carrick that scored from Anaheim’s fourth line in the late tying tally against the Knights on Sunday.
- John Gibson, who left the Ducks’ game against the Penguins last week with an upper-body injury, returned and looked stellar against the Golden Knights on Sunday. He stopped 30 of 32 Vegas shots as he backstopped the Ducks to their comeback win.
- Frank Vatrano scored nine goals in his first nine games, but now he’s scoreless through two. It’s time for the second-line winger to put another in the net if he wants to keep racing Auston Matthews for the NHL scoring lead.
Watch out for the Comeback Quacks
A Ducks third-period comeback on Sunday gave the Knights their first regulation loss of the season.
A Ducks third-period comeback on October 26 gave the Bruins their first loss of the season.
Of course, you already know what happened when the Ducks came back in the third period against the Penguins on October 30.
No third-period lead is ever safe in the NHL— but they’re especially not safe in Anaheim.
From NHL PR:
* The Ducks, with their NHL-best fifth third-period comeback win of 2023-24, became the third team in NHL history to snap an opponent’s point streak of 12 or more games by overcoming a multi-goal deficit in the final frame. The others: Tampa Bay (vs. COL: 12 GP in 1996-97) and Colorado (vs. ANA: 12 GP in 1996-97).
* Anaheim extended the League’s longest active win streak to six games and became just the third club in NHL history to post at least five third-period comeback victories throughout a win streak of any length, joining the 2018-19 Sabres (6 in 10 GP) and 2013-14 Penguins (5 in 15 GP).
And now for the Pens...
Infographic courtesy of Pens PR
Projected Game Lines (from Monday’s practice)
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Reilly Smith - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell
Drew O’Connor - Lars Eller - Radim Zohorna
Matt Nieto - Noel Acciari - Vinnie Hinostroza
Ryan Graves / Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson / Erik Karlsson
P.O. Joseph / Ryan Shea
Goalies: Tristan Jarry, Magnus Hellberg
Expected scratches: Jeff Carter, Chad Ruhwedel, John Ludvig (concussion)
IR: Alex Nedeljkovic
Season opening IR: Raivis Ansons, Will Butcher
- The Pens stuck with the same lines from Saturday’s blowout win over the San Jose Sharks in Monday’s practice, per Pens Inside Scoop.
- That includes Hinostroza on the fourth line. His arrival prompted the line’s first two goals of the season, a boost to the Pens’ bottom six that should be enough to earn Hinostroza another shot at the roster over Jeff Carter.
- The power-play units stayed the same during practice too, per DK Pittsburgh Sports’ Taylor Haase. That means we’re looking at Karlsson behind Malkin, Crosby, Smith and Guentzel on PP1, while Hinostroza slots in on the second with Letang, Rust, Rakell and Zohorna.
- P.O. Joseph was back in the lineup for the first time in more than two weeks Saturday. He helped his case to stay there by grabbing his first assist of the season in the blowout.
- Smith, who has six goals in his first 10 games with the Penguins, is on a historic scoring pace. Only five players in franchise history (Malkin, Pete Mahovlich, Rick Tocchet, Jussi Jokinen and Andy Bathgate) have scored more through their first 10, according to Pens PR.