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game preview

Penguins at Canucks preview

Pittsburgh seeks fifth straight win; Eriksson back in lineup for Vancouver

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

PENGUINS (21-10-4) at CANUCKS (17-15-4)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV 


The Game 

The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to match their season-high winning streak with a fifth straight victory when they visit the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

Goalie Matt Murray is expected to start for first time in six games after Tristan Jarry made 26 saves in a 5-2 road win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. 

Pittsburgh, which also won five straight games from Oct. 10-18, is 10-3-0 in its past 13 games.

Forward Loui Eriksson will return to the lineup for the Canucks after being a scratch in each of the past seven games. He has one goal in 17 games this season.

Jacob Markstrom will make his seventh straight start for Vancouver, which ended a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 overtime win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.


Players to watch

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak and 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 16 games without Sidney Crosby (core muscle) in the lineup.

Canucks forward Brock Boeser has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past nine games. 


They said it

"It's huge, especially given the circumstances right now with the amount of injuries that we have, to have different guys step up and contribute offensively." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan 

"I thought we played pretty good when we played those two games against Edmonton (Nov. 30 and Dec. 1). Both of them have good chemistry and we just need to do the same thing." -- Canucks forward Loui Eriksson, on playing on the second line with Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson in his previous game


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

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

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)


Canucks projected lineup 

J.T. Miller -- Elias Pettersson -- Brock Boeser

Tanner Pearson -- Bo Horvat -- Loui Eriksson

Antoine Roussel -- Adam Gaudette -- Jake Virtanen

Tyler Motte -- Jay Beagle -- Tim Schaller

Jordie Benn -- Christopher Tanev

Quinn Hughes -- Tyler Myers

Oscar Fantenberg -- Troy Stecher

Jacob Markstrom

Michael DiPietro

Scratched: Jalen Chatfield, Zack MacEwen

Injured:  Josh Leivo (fractured kneecap), Brandon Sutter (upper body), Thatcher Demko (concussion), Micheal Ferland (upper body), Alexander Edler (upper body), Tyler Graovac (lower body)


Status report

The Penguins did not skate in Vancouver on Saturday. … Eriksson replaces Leivo, who will miss two to three months after he was injured against Vegas on Thursday. … Demko skated with the team Saturday for the first time since sustaining a concussion in practice Dec. 11 but there is no timeline for his return. 


Stat pack

Letang has seven points (two goals, five assists) in a four-game point streak and has scored a goal in consecutive games. … Rust has eight points (four goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak. … Guentzel has no points in his past two games after having nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his previous five. … Pettersson has four goals in his past five games.

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