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Game Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ St. Louis Blues 2/25/2023 - Lines, how to watch

Two teams. Two four-game losing streaks. Which squad will snap theirs tonight?

NHL: MAR 17 Penguins at Blues
Tristan Jarry battles against the Blues’ Brayden Schenn at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri on March 17, 2022.
Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (27-21-9, 63 points, 5th place Metropolitan Division) @ St. Louis Blues (26-28-4, 56 points, 6th place Central Division)

When: 3:30 p.m.

How to Watch: Nationally televised ABC broadcast, ESPN+

Opponent Track: In solidarity with the Pens, the Blues are also riding a four-game losing streak after losses to the Avalanche and Canucks at home and the Senators and Hurricanes on the road. St. Louis was held to two goals or fewer in all four games. (They have yet to win since trading captain Ryan O’Reilly to the Maple Leafs.)

Pens Path Ahead: The Penguins will be back at PPG Paints tomorrow to take on the Lightning before hitting the road next week for road battles against the Predators, Lightning and Panthers.

Season Series: The Penguins last saw this Blues team on December 3, when Pittsburgh won 6-2 at PPG Paints Arena. Kasperi Kapanen’s hat trick secured him a roster spot from that game right up until he was put on waivers yesterday.

Getting to know the Blues

SBN partner blog: None

Thursday Game Lines


Brandon Saad - Robert Thomas - Jordan Kyrou

Pavel Buchnevich - Brayden Schenn - Ivan Barbashev

Samuel Blais - Logan Brown - Josh Leivo

Alexey Toropchenko - Nathan Walker - Tyler Pitlick


Nick Leddy / Colton Parayko

Marco Scandella / Justin Faulk

Tyler Tucker / Robert Bortuzzo

Goalies: Jordan Bennington (Thomas Greiss)

Scratches: Nikita Alexandrov, Calle Rosen, Torey Krug

IR: Jake Neighbours

  • Brandon Saad and Pavel Buchnevich returned from injury to rejoin the Blues lineup on Thursday.

Blues Pens Falling apart

The Blues lines just underwent a major reshuffling after losing first-line center Ryan O’Reilly in a trade to the Maple Leafs last Friday— but that’s far from their only problem.

There’s a few similarities in how Blues players and coach are talking about the team’s effort to how the Penguins are reacting to their own losing streak.

On Thursday, after the Penguins lost 7-2 to the Oilers:

“It’s frustrating right now. We’re not playing the way we’re supposed to play. We get discouraged pretty quick. It starts with the main guys like me, Sid and Geno. We have to step up our game and find a way to win.” —Kris Letang, via Pens Inside Scoop

“Tonight, without a doubt, was a step backwards... Pro sports isn’t for the faint of heart. We’ve got to dust ourselves off and get back in the fight. No one is going to feel sorry for us.” —head coach Mike Sullivan, via the Penguins

On Thursday, after the Blues lost 3-2 to the Canucks in OT:

“I think everyone just needs to pick it up and play and not leave. Be hard everywhere, and it just looks like we don’t want to play... You’re not playing somewhere else in a beer league or something like that. You need to show something. You need to show heart, character and to be strong everywhere. Just play from your heart.” —Alexey Toropchenko, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Our best players don’t play with any passion, no emotion and no inspiration at all. They don’t play inspired hockey. You cannot play in this league without emotion, grit and being inspired. They’re getting paid lots of money, and they’re not doing the job. End of Story. That’s it. That’s what it boils down to.” —head coach Craig Berube, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Of course there are huge differences in the two teams’ situations. The Blues, without Vladimir Taranseko and now O’Reilly, are officially in a rebuild. The Penguins, who still have Crosby, Malkin and Letang, are hoping for a playoff run. For both, however, energy is lacking in these simultaneous losing streaks.


via hockeydb

  • The Blues are coming into this game after a pretty brutal overtime loss to the Canucks. Not only did the Blues enter the third period with a two-goal lead, but St. Louis gave up the tying goal with under 30 seconds left in regulation— after missing several opportunities to score into the empty net.

From Todd Panula at Bleedin’ Blue:

I don’t have stats to back this up, but this team has to be the worst in franchise history with the opponent’s goaltender pulled. I don’t even mean just allowing the goal to tie the game, but you just sense the game is going the other way.

As soon as the Blues cannot clear, you just feel it coming. When the puck got down low without a cover or clearance, you knew the tying goal was coming. It has happened so often that you just know the Blues don’t know where to be positionally to help their goaltender.

And now for the Pens...

Potential Lines


Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell

Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust

Brock McGinn - Jeff Carter - Danton Heinen

Drew O’Connor - Teddy Blueger - Josh Archibald


Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson / Jeff Petry

P.O. Joseph / Chad Ruhwedel or Jan Rutta?

Goalies: Tristan Jarry (Casey DeSmith)

Scratches: Mark Friedman (upper-body injury), Ryan Poehling (injury)

IR: Jan Rutta

  • Because the Penguins put Kasperi Kapanen on waivers yesterday, Danton Heinen is set to skate in a game for the first time since January 28.
  • Jan Rutta skated alongside P.O. Joseph on the Penguins’ bottom pairing during practice, while Ruhwedel slid down to the extra pairing alongside Mark Friedman.
  • Take these lines with a grain of salt— we’re seeing so much mid-game shuffling that they are often only a memory by the third period.