The Ducks (0-1-0) continue a season-opening five-game road trip vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0-0) tonight at the newly renamed PPG Paints Arena (formerly CONSOL Energy Center). Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 4 p.m. PDT and can be seen locally on Prime Ticket and heard on AM 830.
Despite losing two nights ago in Dallas, Anaheim is 4-0-1 and has earned nine of a possible 10 standings points in the game immediately following the season opener over the past five seasons (since 2011-12). In addition, the Ducks are 5-0-3 with points in eight consecutive games against the defending Stanley Cup champion, including points in all four road games (2-0-2). The current road trip features five games over an eight-day stretch, including stops at the New York Islanders (tomorrow at 3 p.m. PDT), in New Jersey (Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. PDT) and Philadelphia (Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. PDT). Anaheim's October schedule includes nine regular-season games, tied for the fewest in an opening month in club history (also 1998-99). The Ducks' three home games in October also match 1998-99 as the team's fewest played in the first month of a season.
In the all-time head-to-head series matchup against the Penguins, the Ducks own an 11-16-3 record along with a 3-11-2 mark in the Steel City. These two clubs split last year's season set, each winning its respective home game (2-1 Ducks win on Dec. 6, 2015 and 6-2 Penguins victory on Feb. 8, 2016. Antoine Vermette enters tonight's game leading active Ducks skaters in career scoring against Pittsburgh with 17 points (9g/8a) in 27 games. The Ducks and Penguins will meet again to wrap up the season series on Nov. 2 at Honda Center (7:30 p.m. PDT).
The Penguins, meanwhile, enter tonight's contest on the heels of a 3-2 shootout victory in their season opener two nights ago at home against the Washington Capitals. Patric Hornqvist and Evgeni Malkin scored in regulation, and Phil Kessel's fourth-round shootout goal coupled with Marc-Andre Fleury's decisive stop on Alex Ovechkin sealed the victory. Fleury made 39 saves in the win, which improved Pittsburgh's record to 8-3 in its past 11 season openers.