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game preview

Penguins at Wild preview

Minnesota eyes first win; Galchenyuk, Malkin, Bjugstad out for Pittsburgh

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

PENGUINS (2-2-0) at WILD (0-3-0)

8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-N, FS-WI, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Minnesota Wild will try to win their first game when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in their home opener at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday. 

A Wild loss would extend the worst start in their history. Minnesota has been outscored 14-6 in its first three games. 

The Penguins play their first road game of the season, and first of a back-to-back set, playing at the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. They will be without forwards Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk, Nick Bjugstad and Bryan Rust, who are on injured reserve.

Pittsburgh is coming off of a 2-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, and has alternated wins and losses through its first four games. 

 

Players to watch

Penguins center Sidney Crosby has six points (two goals, four assists) in a four-game point streak. 

Wild defenseman Ryan Suter has three points (one goal, two assists) through three games and is the only Minnesota player with more than two points.

 

They said it

"[Minnesota is] a good team, like every other team in this League. There's such parity in this league, there's such a fine line between winning and losing. We just have to make sure we control what we can to be at our best." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

"I don't think we're hoping [to be better at home], we're counting on it. It's easy to make excuses when you're on the road and you're playing against three good teams.... There's no excuses tonight. We're playing a really good team but it's time for us to lift up and play above what we're supposed to be playing." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

 

Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Dominik Simon

Dominik Kahun -- Jared McCann -- Brandon Tanev

Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Patric Hornqvist

Adam Johnson -- Joseph Blandisi -- Sam Lafferty

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson -- Justin Schultz

Jack Johnson -- John Marino

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel, Erik Gudbranson

Injured: Evgeni Malkin (lower body), Nick Bjugstad (lower body), Bryan Rust (upper body), Alex Galchenyuk (lower body)

 

Wild projected lineup

Jordan Greenway -- Eric Staal -- Kevin Fiala

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mats Zuccarello

Zach Parise -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Marcus Foligno -- Victor Rask -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin -- Jared Spurgeon

Carson Soucy -- Brad Hunt

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Ryan Donato, Nick Seeler

Injured: Greg Pateryn (bilateral core)

 

Status report

Blandisi was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Friday and Andrew Agozzino was reassigned. … Rask will play his first game of the season.

 

Stat pack

Letang has four points (one goal, three assists) in a four-game point streak and is three points away from 500 in the NHL. He would be the first defenseman in Penguins history with 500 points. ... Boudreau needs two wins to tie Billy Reay (542) for 23rd place on NHL all-time coaching list.

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