National Hockey League action on Monday Tuesday evening and the Central Division will square off with the Metro Division as the Minnesota Wild grapple with the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The Penguins won the first meeting between these teams by a score of 7-4. That game was in Minnesota. The Wild are 20-25 on the year while the Penguins are 28-17.
The Wild Are Having Trouble ScoringThe Minnesota Wild are slightly below average on offense this year but they have been terrible at the end of the ice of late. Minnesota enters this game at 20-25 overall, including just 1-5 in their last six games and they have averaged a paltry 1.83 gpg over that stretch. That will not get it done at any level. In four of those games, Minnesota scored just one goal exact. Minnesota is 19 points out of first in the Central Division but just seven points out of the 8th slot in the Western Conference playoff standings. If they hope to stay in the race much longer, then they will need their offense to reinvent themselves. In their eight games prior to the last six, the Wild averaged a solid 4.00 gpg and that was with getting shutout in one of those games. Minnesota went 5-3 over that stretch. In their last game, they fell to Vancouver at home by a score of 4-1 and scoring the lone goal for the Wild was Marcus Foligno, which was his 8th of the year.
“When we are going well, we get shots on net and we go to the net like Marcus’ goal. That’s how we score, we grind it out. We don’t have enough guys grinding right now.”— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) January 13, 2020
📹 Hear more from Bruce Boudreau after today’s game against Vancouver. pic.twitter.com/tA2lX2RxON
Absorbing the loss to the Canucks was Devan Dubnyk, who allowed three goals on 29 shot attempts to fall to 8-13 with a 3.16 GAA on the year while out on the road he has gone 3-7 with a 3.46 GAA. In his career, he has gone 118-124 with a 2.68 GAA on the road and 40-35 with a 2.58 GAA during the month of January plus 5-8 with a 3.15 GAA against the Penguins.
The Wild enter this game ranked 18th in the league in scoring at 2.98 gpg and 22nd in power-play conversions at 17.5% while on the defensive end of the ice, they are 26th in the league in goals allowed at 3.29 gpg and 25th in penalty kill at 76.5%.
Pens complete Three-Game Road SweepThe Pittsburgh Penguins continue to play without Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel and they keep winning. Vegas, Colorado, and Arizona all have records that are .500 or better and the Pens just won all three games against those teams on the road. Pittsburgh has now won five in a row on the road and they are 14-4 over their last 18 games. Oddly enough, all three games on the trip had the same 4-3 final score. The last one, which was against Arizona ended in the 8th round of the shootout, with Teddy Blueger getting the deciding goal. Scoring in regulation for Pittsburgh was Jared McCann, which was his 13th of the year, Patric Hornqvist, which was his 11th and Brandon Tanev, which was his 10th. Pittsburgh continues to put pressure on the Capitals as they have closed the gap to just four points behind them in the race for the Metro Division title. Pittsburgh has gone an impressive 16-8 here at home for the year.
PERFECT ROAD TRIP. pic.twitter.com/O8E8XnVocC— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 13, 2020
Grabbing the win against the Coyotes was Tristan Jarry, who stopped 24 of the 27 shots that he faced to improve to 15-7 with a 2.08 GAA on the year while here at home he has gone 9-4 with a 1.71 GAA. In his career, he has gone 17-6 with a 2.20 GAA in his home games and 6-3 with a 2.70 GAA during the month of January. this would be his first meeting against the Wild. We may see Matt Murray in this game and he has gone 13-10 with a 2.91 GAA on the year, including 7-4 with a 2.70 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 58-30 with a 2.76 GAA here at PPG PAINTS Arena and 15-6 with a 2.63 GAA during the month of January, plus 2-1 with a 2.34 GAA against the Wild.
The Penguins enter this game ranked 7th in the league in scoring at 3.36 gpg and 19th in power-play conversions at 18.9% while on the defensive end of the ice, they are 7th in the league in goals allowed at 2.71 gpg and 12th in penalty kill at 81.5%.
Trends are Courtesy Of Covers.com Minnesota is:
- 2-6 in their last 8 vs. Metropolitan
- Wild are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record
- 13-3 in their last 16 games playing on 1 days rest
- 44-19 in their last 63 vs. the Western Conference