PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking to keep their good start to the season going when they host the Edmonton Oilers tonight at CONSOL Energy Center.
Pittsburgh returns home after a quick road trip to the state of Florida for back-to-back games against the Panthers and Lightning.
The Penguins suffered their first loss of the season against the Panthers, but rebounded the next night to knock off the Lightning 5-4.
Matt Niskanen’s power play goal with 18 seconds left in the third period proved to be the difference in the contest.
As for the Oilers, the start of the season has not been what they were hoping for.
Edmonton enters tonight’s game with a 1-4-1 record, which is the worst in the Western Conference.
This will also be their second game in as many nights after losing 4-2 to the Washington Capitals Monday.
Four Oilers are currently tied for the team lead with five points: Boyd Gordon (four goals, one assist), David Perron (one goal, four assists), Taylor Hall (one goal, four assists) and Mark Arcobello (zero goals, five assists).
Gordon also leads the team with four goals.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed the first two games of the season, but has two goals and one assist through four games.
In a somewhat surprising move, the Oilers have left Nail Yakupov in the press box for their last two games as a healthy scratch.
Yakupov was selected with the first pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and went on to lead the Oilers with 17 goals last season. In four games this season, Yakupov has zero points to go along with a minus-three rating.
Goaltending has also been an issue for the Oilers. Devan Dubnyk is 0-3-1 with a 5.43 GAA and a .829 save percentage, while Jason LaBarbera is 1-1-0 with a 3.27 GAA and .860 save percentage.
LaBarbera allowed four goals on 20 shots against the Capitals last night, which may mean that we’ll see Dubnyk between the pipes tonight against the Penguins.
Dubnyk is 1-2 with a 2.93 GAA and a.908 save percentage in his career against the Penguins.
For Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby’s four-point night against Tampa Bay propelled him to the top of the NHL. He enters tonight’s game tied with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin with nine points (five goals, four assists).
The Penguins are already without Kris Letang (lower-body) and James Neal (upper body), but Beau Bennett’s name was added to the injury report on Monday. The good news is that Bennett is being classified as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Letang has also returned to practice, but a return date has not been announced.
In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury (4-0-0, 1.75 GAA, .930 save percentage) is likely to get the start. Fleury is 4-2-0 with a 2.68 GAA and a .914 save percentage in six career games against the Oilers.
The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and you can watch the game on Root Sports.
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