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Penguins at Oilers preview

Pittsburgh 14-0-4 in past 18 games against Edmonton for longest active run by any NHL team

by Derek Van Diest / Independent Correspondent

PENGUINS (20-10-4) at OILERS (19-14-4)



The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to extend their point streak against the Edmonton Oilers to 19 games when they meet at Rogers Place on Friday.

The Penguins are 14-0-4 in their past 18 games against the Oilers, a Pittsburgh record for longest point streak against an individual opponent and the longest active run by any team in the NHL.

Goalie Tristan Jarry will make his fifth straight start for the Penguins, who seek their fourth consecutive victory and 10th win in 13 games (9-3-0). Jarry is 4-1-0 with a 1.56 goals-against average, .947 save percentage and two shutouts in that span.

The Oilers are 1-4-1 in their past six games. Goalie Mike Smith will make his first start since he allowed six goals on 26 shots in a 6-5 loss at the Minnesota Wild on Dec. 12.


Players to watch

Penguins forward Jake Guentzel has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past six games. 

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has five points (two goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak.


They said it

"It's easier to try and deprive them of the puck than to take it away from them. We have to try and limit their time and space. It's basically the same principles that you have when you have to play Sid [Sidney Crosby] and Evgeni Malkin." -- Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson on facing Edmonton center Connor McDavid and forward Leon Draisaitl

"No matter what, your home games are important. So coming back after a road trip you want to come back and have a good showing and we have two hard games coming up here, so we're looking forward to that." -- Oilers forward James Neal on hosting the Penguins on Friday and Montreal Canadiens on Saturday


Penguins projected lineup 

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Zach Aston-Reese -- Jared McCann -- Dominik Kahun

Dominik Simon -- Teddy Blueger -- Brandon Tanev

Alex Galchenyuk -- Joseph Blandisi -- Sam Lafferty

Jack Johnson -- Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson -- John Marino

Juuso Riikola -- Chad Ruhwedel

Tristan Jarry

Matt Murray

Scratched: Thomas Di Pauli, Kevin Czuczman  

Injured: Sidney Crosby (core muscle), Nick Bjugstad (lower body), Brian Dumoulin (lower body), Patric Hornqvist (lower body), Justin Schultz (lower body) 


Oilers projected lineup

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

James Neal -- Leon Draisaitl -- Sam Gagner

Joakim Nygard -- Gaetan Haas -- Alex Chiasson

Jujhar Khaira -- Riley Sheahan -- Josh Archibald

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Kris Russell -- Caleb Jones

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

Scratched: Brandon Manning, Patrick Russell, Markus Granlund

Injured: Matt Benning (head) 


Status report

The Penguins recalled Di Pauli, a forward, and Czuczman, a defenseman, from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Friday. 


Stat pack

Rust has seven points (four goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak and has scored at least one goal in three straight games. … Letang has six points (one goal, five assists) in a three-game point streak. … McDavid has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in his past 10 games. … Smith has not won a game since he made 25 saves in a 4-2 victory at the Vegas Golden Knights on Nov. 23. 

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