It's one of the nights we've been waiting all year for. Connor McDavid vs Sidney Cros....errr.....welp. Crosby is still out injured so we won't have to hear the Crosby/McDavid comparisons all night.
The Penguins (20-10-4) enter play tonight coming off of a win 4-1 on Tuesday night in Calgary. They received goals from John Marino, Bryan Rust, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang after falling behind 1-0 in the first. Pittsburgh also got incredible goaltending from their number one goalie, Tristan Jarry, who made 33 saves on 34 shots and was brilliant, especially in the first period when the Flames out-shot the Penguins by a wide margin.
After a blazing start, the Oilers (19-14-4) have come back to Earth a little but but are still good enough to be third in the Pacific division. They are coming off a 2-1 loss Wednesday night in St. Louis. This will be the second and final meeting between these two teams this season. The Oilers took the first one in Pittsburgh 2-1 in overtime.
Remember that time Bryan Rust didn't score for like 69 games last season? It feels like a decade ago now. That man is only second on the team in goals with 13 and third on the team in points with 24 (tied with Kris Letang). It is great to finally see Rust come into his own and he has also become one of the Penguins best forwards not only defensively but offensively as well.
'O Canada' again.
The Oilers enter play tonight having lost five of their last six, going 1-4-1 during that stretch.
Tristan Jarry has allowed two or fewer goals in 11 of his 15 starts this season. That's pretty good.
Justin Schultz is now week-to-week with a lower body injury. He sorta sucks.
Expect Juuso Riikola to slide back in as the team's sixth defenseman in Schultz's absence.
As a corresponding move, the Penguins have recalled defenseman Kevin Czuczman and forward Thomas Di Pauli.
Di Pauli would make his NHL debut tonight while Czuczman would make his Pens debut.
Expect to hear how John Marino used to be an Oiler 69911 times tonight. Never forget that the Penguins stole him for a conditional sixth-round pick.
Jarry vs no clue honestly. The Oilers have run a two-goalie system all year with Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith.
Bryan Rust is good.
Evgeni Malkin got his 400th career goal on an empty netter in his first game back from being sick on Tuesday.
Sidney Crosby has been skating for a few days apparently. So that's fun.
What isn't fun is watching Dominik Simon vomit all over himself any time he has the puck.
GTA Snow Watch
The Pens lost Stefan Noesen to San Jose on waivers yesterday.