Shea-ved Ice: Jets Vs. Penguins Preview
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will be welcoming a familiar face back to the lineup Saturday afternoon when they host the Winnipeg Jets.
Jordan Staal, who has missed the last 15 games due to a knee injury, will look to help the team snap a two-game losing streak.
In 34 games this season, Staal has 15 goals and six assists.
On Tuesday, the Penguins lost 3-2 to the Montreal Canadiens in a marathon shootout. Pascal Dupuis and James Neal scored for the Penguins in the game.
The Penguins are currently sitting in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. However, they are only one point behind the New Jersey Devils and four points behind the Philadelphia Flyers.
As for their opponent today, the Jets come into the game having won their last two games. On Thursday, they stunned the Capitals with two late third period goals to force overtime and eventually won in a shootout.
The Jets (26-24-6, 58 points) are currently in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and are just four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the eighth and final spot.
Blake Wheeler is leading the way with 36 points (10 goals, 26 assists), while Evander Kane is leading the team in goals with 19.
In goal, Ondrej Pavelec (20-18-6, 2.68 GAA, .913 save percentage) has won four of his last five starts and has allowed more than two goals only once over that span.
However, he has not performed well against the Penguins in his career. In 9 starts, Pavelec is 1-8 with a 4.16 GAA and a .872 save percentage.
For Pittsburgh, Evegni Malkin’s assist on Neal’s goal against the Canadiens kept him on top of the NHL scoring race.
Malkin’s 62 points (29 goals, 33 assists) are one better than Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux.
It is also worth noting that Neal’s goal was his 28th of the season, which set a new career-high.
Staal has enjoyed some success against the Jets’ franchise in his career having scored eight goals in 18 games. He also has three assists over that span.
However, Malkin has torched the Jets in the past. In 20 career games, Malkin has 10 goals and 19 assists with four goals and eight assists coming on the power play.
In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury (28-13-3, 2.29 GAA, .913 save percentage) has also enjoyed success against the Jets in his career.
In 18 appearances, Fleury is 13-5 with a 2.18 GAA and a .921 save percentage.
The puck is set to drop at 2 p.m. and you can watch the game locally on Root Sports. It is also being broadcasted on NHL Network.
You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sheavedice
For More Penguins Coverage Check Out Puck Talk With Popchock.