The Penguins (24-19-3) begin their three game west coast road trip tonight against the Anaheim Ducks (20-16-9) where they'll try to make it five wins in a row with puck drop set for just after 10PM tonight from Honda Center. It may be premature to say that the Penguins are fully back, but after watching these last four games, they look a hell of a lot better than they have the entire season.
In their last four games, the Penguins have combined for 19 goals. That's a lot. Penguins star / hotdog enthusiast Phil Kessel was named NHL's third star of the week (mind you he played just two games the entire week, courtesy of their bye) tallying three goals and two assists for a total of five points. Both of Kessel's goals were game winners giving him 53 game winning goals for his career.
The Ducks haven't been as bad lately, winning six of their last ten (6-3-1). They are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. Anaheim is led by center Rickard Rackell who has 15 goals, 17 assists for a total of 32 points. Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano made headlines this week when he received a two game suspension, thus ending his ironman streak of 830 consecutive games played which dated all the way back to the beginning of the 2007-2008 season.
Matt Murray will be out an indefinite amount of time, following the death of his father yesterday in Ontario. Murray will miss at least the next three games, being that he returned home from the west coast. Pittsburgh's own (chugs bleach) John Gibson will likely be in between the pipes for the Ducks. Usually Gibson gets torched when he plays against the Penguins, especially in Pittsburgh but he is coming a shutout the last time these two teams met right before Christmas on December 23rd.
**As per usual, Scouting the Refs does not have the stripes for this evening. Ignore this section.**
The Ducks picked up our very own @Browthekid's cousin, JT Brown, on Sunday off waivers from Tampa Bay.
Matt sucks and so does JT Brown.
Two years ago yesterday the Penguins sent the ghost of David Perron and defenseman Adam Clendening to Anaheim for 2x Stanley Cup champion, Carl Hagelin.
Hagelin was finally able to buy a goal, an empty-netter, but baby steps...
In three straight games, Hagelin has 1 goal and 3 assists.
As mentioned above, Matt Murray is out an indefinite amount of time, following the loss of his father.
The Pirates have now traded Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen. Soon it will be Josh Harrison. Yikes.
The Penguins have yet to win five games in a row this season. Buckle up.
The Penguins rank first in the NHL on the power play, clicking at 26.5A% (43 goals).
Look for Ian Cole to be a healthy scratch again tonight.
Nothing else to write, it's Anaheim.
Old Posts from our site, heyyyyyfannnssss (4/11-2/15). Cute name, but impossible to remember.