Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Penguins play host to the Vancouver Canucks at PPG Paints Arena in a battle of Eastern vs Western conference teams. Vancouver will bring its 6-11-2 record into Pittsburgh. They have lost 7 of their last 9 and scored more than 2 goals in only 1 of those losses. Pittsburgh has been playing well as of late winning their last 3 putting them back above .500 at 8-6-4. Surprisingly it has been the defense of the Penguins that have helped them on this 3-game win streak. Tritsan Jarry posted back-to-back shutouts against Montreal and then Toronto.
J.T. Miller has led the way for the Canucks in goals (7) and points (19). Impressive numbers when accounting for the fact that Vancouver is the 5th worst scoring offense in the league (2.37 gpg). Pittsburgh is a more middle of the pack offense averaging 2.94gpg and has been led by Jake Guentzel with his 8 goals and 7 assists making up his team high 15 points.
Looking upVancouver has been at the bottom of the Pacific Division most of the season along with the expansion Seattle Kraken. The -16-goal differential that they have is not the worst in the league, but it surely puts them on the lowest rung of the league. Friday they were able to pick up a solid win over a decent Winnipeg team 3-2 but followed that up quickly with a shutout loss to the 6-10-2 Chicago Blackhawks.
In their last defeat, Vancouver peppered the net with 40 shots on goal and were not able to get 1 of those shots past Martin Fleury. Thatcher Demko was solid in net stopping 23 of 24 shots but unfortunately the sole goal was the difference. In this game against the Penguins, Demko will likely face more than 24 shots as the Bruins lead the league with 35+ shots per game. He will need to be active in order to keep his Canucks in this game Wednesday night.
Pucks on netPittsburgh will look to add to their 3-game win streak as they host the struggling Canucks Wednesday night. They will likely rely on netminder Tristan Jarry and his 2.09 GAA to keep the Canucks from getting going offensively. Left winger Jake Guentzel and his linemates Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust will be in charge of putting pucks on net. This will be just the 7th game of the season for perennial star Sidney Crosby as he dealt with a wrist injury that had kept him out.
The Penguins are coming off a 3-1 win on the road against Winnipeg. They were right around their average in shots on net (36) and picked up 3 goals from 3 different scorers. Jason Zucker opened it up with his 4th goal of the season that tied the game in the 2nd period 1-1. In the 3rd period, Danton Heinen scored his 6th of the season to take the lead in the 4th minute of the period. Jake Guentzel took the open net opportunity to net his 8th goal of the season and put away the Jets. The offensive attack should be on full display Wednesday night.
- Pittsburgh is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games against Vancouver
- Pittsburgh is 4-1 in their last 5 games after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game
- Vancouver is 3-5-1 on the road this season
- Vancouver is 3-7 in their last 9 games