October is lastly right here— and which means regular-season hockey is simply over the horizon.
Questioning what to anticipate within the first two weeks of the common season, when the Penguins tackle the Coyotes, Lightning and Kings at residence whereas dealing with the Canadiens and Blue Jackets on the street?
Right here’s a short reminder of what occurred final season when the Penguins confronted these first 5 opponents.
Arizona Coyotes @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Thursday, October 13 at 7pm
2021-22 document: 2-0-0 (6-3 residence win, 1/25; 4-1 street win, 3/19)
2021-22 abstract: The Coyotes ranked thirty first within the NHL in targets allowed in 2021-22, one thing the Penguins took benefit of final season.
However their January twenty fifth matchup at PPG Paints Area, the place Arizona led 3-2 within the third interval till the Penguins launched a comeback, confirmed Arizona can nonetheless trigger harm with gifted scorers Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller if Pittsburgh’s protection doesn’t put up a cohesive entrance.
Former Penguin connection: Penguins followers won’t be seeing Cup champion Phil Kessel throughout this Thursday night time residence opener. Kessel signed in Vegas as a UFA this offseason, so he’ll return to PPG Paints Area with the Golden Knights on December 1.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Saturday, October 15 at 7pm
2021-22 document: 2-1-0 (6-2 street win, 10/2; 5-1 residence loss, 10/26; 5-1 street win, 3/3)
2021-22 abstract: The Penguins opened their 2021-22 season towards the Lightning final 12 months. The sport started with Danton Heinen scoring simply 12 seconds in, and ended with three empty-netters to finish a 6-2 victory in Amalie Area— a last rating which made this win look rather more dominant than it actually was.
The Lightning acquired their revenge later that month with a decisive 5-1 victory, the very same margin of the Penguins’ win within the spring. These two groups have been each prime 11 within the NHL in targets final season, and you’ll doubtless count on one other high-scoring sport on Saturday.
Former Penguin connection: Between Pittsburgh, Columbus, Colorado, Minnesota and Carolina, Ian Cole has had a busy few years. Now he’s in Tampa Bay on a one-year, $3 million contract, and can be greeting some previous buddies in Pittsburgh throughout this second matchup of the season.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Montreal Canadiens
Monday, October 17 at 7pm
2021-22 document: 2-1-0 (6-0 street win, 11/18; 6-3 residence loss, 11/27; 5-2 residence win, 12/14)
2021-22 abstract: November 18 marked one of many Penguins’ most dominant wins of the 2021-22 season. The Sidney Crosby line scored two targets, the second power-play unit stepped up, and Teddy Blueger helped make up for a lacking Evgeni Malkin along with his solely two-goal sport of the marketing campaign.
It was one in all three high quality performances by the Penguins towards the Canadiens final 12 months. Don’t be fooled by the boxscore of that 6-3 loss, which included a trio of late empty-net targets— Pittsburgh matched up properly towards this staff in 2021-22.
Former Penguin connection: Mike Matheson had a profession 12 months with the Penguins final season, racking up an all-time finest 31 factors (11 targets, 20 assists) in 74 video games and solidifying as one in all Pittsburgh’s finest defensemen. When he returns to Pittsburgh early this season, he’ll hope to point out his previous staff he’s nonetheless acquired that scoring contact.
Los Angeles Kings @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Thursday, October 20 at 7pm
2021-22 document: 0-2-0 (6-2 street loss, 1/13; 4-3 residence loss, 1/30)
2021-22 abstract: The Penguins are likely to battle towards the Los Angeles Kings on the street— they’ve an all-time 22-50-8 document in LA. Possibly it’s the time distinction, or perhaps the exhaustion of a West Coast street journey. However this season, the Kings come to Pittsburgh first, so the Penguins have the prospect to start out this season sequence out on the proper foot.
Final 12 months, the Penguins tied their one residence contest towards the Kings with fewer than 10 minutes left in regulation because of a power-play aim from Bryan Rust. However the even rating didn’t stand for lengthy, and the Penguins couldn’t preserve Trevor Moore from scoring his second aim of the night time and claiming the win for Los Angeles.
That loss means the Penguins haven’t crushed the Kings since a 5-4 shootout win on December 14, 2019. They’ll look to see if they’ll replace that stat throughout this third residence sport of the season.
Former Penguin connection: Former Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta, who spent the final two seasons in Los Angeles, gained’t be right here— he’s now a member of the Detroit Pink Wings, and can return to PPG Paints on December 28.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Saturday, October 22 at 7pm
2021-22 document: 4-0-0 (5-2 street win, 1/21; 3-2 street win, 2/27; 5-3 residence win, 3/22; 5-3 residence win, 4/29)
2021-22 abstract: The Blue Jackets have been the Penguins’ solely in-conference season sweep, and three of these 4 wins featured five-goal performances from Pittsburgh. Whether or not it was beginning the competition with three targets in three minutes, like on April 29, or scoring 4 in a single interval, like on March 22, the Penguins have been uniquely dominant towards this staff in 2021-22.
However Columbus went via an offseason transformation, together with the notable arrival of Johnny Gaudreau, who ranked second solely to Connor McDavid with a whopping 115 factors in 82 video games for Calgary final season. That addition alone will make this staff a lot more durable to deal with than final season.
Former Penguin connection: Like Ian Cole, former Pittsburgh defenseman Erik Gudbranson has bounced from staff to staff after the previous few years, stopping by Anaheim, Ottawa, Nashville and Calgary since he was traded in 2019. The Penguins can be seeing him in a Columbus sweater for this primary time throughout this Saturday street sport.