Pittsburgh Penguins (2-1-1)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off of a pretty disastrous game against the Canadiens on Tuesday where, not only did the Penguins lose 4-0, defenseman Kris Letang and winger Conor Sheary also left the game because of injury.
Letang left with what was later called an upper body injury and has been listed day-to-day by head coach Mike Sullivan. Brian Dumoulin is expected to take his place and make his first start this season.
“You never want to see somebody get hurt to have to leave the game, but I am excited to get a chance to go out there and play with these guys,” Dumoulin said.
Sheary is also expected to miss this game due to an eye injury. It will be a difficult game for Pittsburgh without Sidney Crosby, Letang and Sheary. But, much like the Steelers right now, the Penguins are using the “next man up” mentality.
San Jose Sharks (3-1-0)
Unlike their opponents, the San Jose Sharks are coming into Pittsburgh with a healthy lineup. And each of the three games won by San Jose thus far this season has been decided by a single goal. Still, tonight, the team is hoping to let memories of the offseason go and instead just focus on the season at hand.
“I didn’t know what I would feel, but really, coming back, it was really an overwhelming sense of pride for our group,” said San Jose head coach Peter DeBoer. “I know we came up short, but the memories I have of coming back in here are just of how our guys really emptied the tank. We came up short. They were the better team.”
The Sharks are off to a good start in 2016 and will look to tally another win on this East Coast road trip. And this early road trip is a real test after coming up just short last season.
Either way, San Jose is ready to make a statement this evening against the Penguins. But without some of Pittsburgh’s best players, the Sharks may not have as big of a battle as they had expected.
The Penguins are pretty banged up and will be facing a team that has not only started out well, but that is looking to get a little payback. The Penguins will struggle keep their offense running well and will drop the game to their Stanley Cup opponent, 3-1.
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Thursday, October 20 @ 7:00 p.m. EDT
Watch: ROOT, CSN-CA, NHL.TV
Image credit: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports