Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (26-17-9, 61 points, 5th place Metropolitan Division) @ San Jose Sharks (17-26-11, 45 points, 7th place Pacific Division)
When: 10:30 p.m.
How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet Pittsburgh for the Pens’ viewing market, NBC Sports California for the home team, ESPN+
Opponent Track: The Sharks are well within #tankforbedard territory, so in that respect their recent stretch of games has been going terribly. They’ve won three of their last four contests, including a 6-4 win over the Penguins at PPG Paints before the All-Star break, an overtime victory over the Lightning in Tampa and a 4-1 stomping of the Capitals in Washington.
Pens Path Ahead: The Penguins have a tough weekend coming up with an away-and-home back-to-back set of games against division rivals. They meet the Islanders (sitting one point behind the Penguins, although the Pens do have four games in hand) in Long Island on Friday before returning to PPG Paints to take on the Devils on Saturday.
Season Series: The Penguins traded leads back and forth with the Sharks during their last matchup until noted Sidney Crosby-disliker Logan Couture put the Penguins away with a late goal past Casey DeSmith on January 28.
Hidden Stat: The Sharks are only 1-8-4 at home when their opponent scores first. The Penguins should definitely consider trying it.
Getting to know the Sharks
SBN partner blog: Fear the Fin
Potential Game Lines
Timo Meier - Tomas Hertl - Noah Gregor
Michael Eyssimont - Logan Couture - Alexander Barabanov
Oskar Lindblom - Nico Sturm - Nick Bonino
Jonah Gadjovich - Steven Lorentz - Evgeny Svechnikov
Scott Harrington / Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic / Matthew Benning
Mario Ferraro / Jacob MacDonald
Goalies: Kaapo Kahkonen, Aaron Dell
Scratches: Kevin Labanc, Nick Cicek, James Reimer (illness)
IR: Luke Kunin, Radim Simek, Markus Nutivaara
- Aaron Dell learned about goaltender James Reimer’s illness at about noon on February 11, after the team had already traveled to see the Capitals in Washington D.C. on the 12th, Dell told reporters. Dell ended up flying to D.C. and going nearly directly from plane to game to make eight saves in relief after Kahkonen was pulled from the game by concussion spotters after a collision with Evgeny Kuznetsov.
- Reimer missed the Sunday matchup with the Capitals due to “minor” illness but will hopefully be available tonight, head coach David Quinn said on Sunday.
- The Sharks have a very good penalty kill— but when it doesn’t work, it usually spells doom for San Jose. The team is 4-13-3 when giving up a goal on the kill (although one of those wins was, of course, against the Penguins on January 28, when the Sharks won despite power-play goals from both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.)
- As a league-bottom team with several high-profile talents the Sharks have been the subject of plenty of trade rumors. They particularly surround Timo Meier, who is set to match his career-best 76-point 2021-22 season, and Erik Karlsson, who has a casual nine points (3-6—9) in his last four games.
Erik Karlsson (1-2—3) became just the third active defenseman to record eight three-point games in a single season, joining Roman Josi (12 GP in 2021-22) and Mark Giordano (8 GP in 2018-19).#NHLStats: https://t.co/W60kfSwAn8 pic.twitter.com/vfmglutiI4— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 12, 2023
And now for the Pens...
Monday Practice Lines
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn - Jeff Carter - Kasperi Kapanen
Ryan Poehling - Teddy Blueger - Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson / Jeff Petry
P.O. Joseph / Chad Ruhwedel
Goalies: Casey DeSmith, Dustin Tokarski (or Tristan Jarry?)
Scratches: Drew O’Connor, Danton Heinen, Mark Friedman (upper-body injury)
IR: Tristan Jarry, Jan Rutta
- Both Jan Rutta and Tristan Jarry participated in Penguins practice, although Rutta was playing as a seventh defenseman. There is a possibility we could be seeing Jarry tonight, according to Pens Inside Scoop. If he isn’t ready, who will the Pens go with after both Casey DeSmith and Dustin Tokarski struggled in the Penguins’ last outing?
- Mark Friedman being evaluated for an upper-body injury and will likely not be available as an option.
- Emotions were running high for (some) Pens this Super Bowl weekend:
Bryan Rust said the boys all got together to watch the Super Bowl.— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) February 13, 2023
"Some people were happier than others."
Namely Jake Guentzel, who got the most into it. "He was up screaming quite a bit. I'm sure he had a few bets on the line," Rust said with a laugh.