Tonight the red hot Penguins (24-13-6) begin their five game West Coast road trip when they face off against Daniel Sprong and the struggling Anaheim Ducks (19-17-8). Puck drop is set for just after 10pm from Honda Center.
Helloooooo everybodyyyyyyyy, tonight the Penguins kick off their West Coast road trip where they'll play five games over the course of eight days. Over the next week the Penguins will visit Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Arizona and conclude their trip when they take on Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Reaves in Vegas next Saturday night.
The Penguins rebounded nicely last time out defeating a pretty terrible Florida Panthers team by a score of 5-1. In the game, the Penguins lost two key pieces in Patric Hornqvist and Zach Aston-Reese. Hornqvist was struck in the head with a puck in the first period of Tuesday's game and did not return. Aston-Reese on the other hand, (no pun intended) is out with an upper-body injury after having to abide by the #code. During the game he decked Panther's winger Frank Vatrano so naturally he had to defend himself and fight Colten Sceviour all because Vatrano couldn't stay on his damn feet. In the scrap, ZAR managed to beat Sceviour's ass but got the worst of the fight when he punched his helmet. One can only assume it's a broken hand. Aston-Reese was placed on injured reserve and forward Garrett Wilson was recalled. One can only assume we'll see both Derek Grant and Wilson in the lineup tonight. YAY fighting. YAY code. YAY.
On the other side, the Ducks are absolutely terrible. They're winless over their last nine contests and have gone 0-6-3 during that stretch. In fact, their last win was against the Penguins back on December 17th. If you recall, the Penguins fell 4-2 in that game after jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. I thought the season was over and was ready to trade everyone and now...
Matt Murray is expected to oppose Whitehall native (if you didn't know) John Gibson in net tonight.
I would bet the house on the Ducks tonight, it almost seems too good to be true that the Penguins would beat a team that's winless over their last nine.
Earlier today, the Penguins inked backup goalie Casey DeSmith to a three year deal with an annual value of $1.25M. Some of you are mad because of DeSmith's past and this excites me. What a solid deal for the Penguins.
If consuming alcohol on a Friday is something you like to do, make a drinking game out of how many times John Gibson is referred to as "Johnny Whitehall" or "Pittsburgh Kid John Gibson." You will be dead and on the floor.
At least the Penguins get to see the best player in the NHL tonight when they'll face Daniel Sprong for the second time this season. If you recall when these teams played back on December 17th, Sprong tallied an assist. Sprong is currently playing on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and has two goals over his last five games.
Kris Letang will accompany Sidney Crosby to the All-Star game representing the Metrosexual Division. The fans voted him in during the "Last Men In" voting campaign. The game will held January 26th at 8pm in San Jose.
God this sucks that we have to watch Garrett Wilson and Derek Grant tonight.
Aston-Reese was playing some good hockey as of late too.
Matt Murray is still riding his eight game win streak. During which, he has a save percentage of .926 and a goals against of 1.24 with two shutouts. That's good, folks.
Friendly reminder that the Penguins are 9-1-0 over their last ten games.
This is Patric Hornqvist's 5th concussion since joining the Penguins back in 2014. Have to wonder how long this one will sideline him. There is a life after hockey, for him at least, not us.
Will Anaheim do a Marcus Pettersson tribute video?? He did play a whole 49 games with them.
Honestly these games are late and that doesn't make me happy.