Pittsburgh Penguins Gameday 78: Minnesota Wild

Pittsburgh Penguins (49-23-5) @ Minnesota Wild (39-26-12)
Root Sports, FS-N- 8:00 pm/et
Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN


Jussi Jokinen is out with an upper-body injury, meaning Andrew Ebbett will be in the lineup. Jeff Zatkoff is starting in goal.


Leading Scorers:
Penguins: Sidney Crosby (36G, 66A: 102P)
Wild: Jason Pominville (27G, 26A: 53P)

Pominville highway sign

Starting Goaltenders:
Penguins: Jeff Zatkoff (12-5-1 2.58GAA, .915 Sv%)
Wild: Ilya Bryzgalov (9-8-8, 2.76 GAA, .909 Sv% – With Wild: 4-0-3, 2.11 GAA, .911 Sv%)

Last Games:
Penguins: Defeated Winnipeg Jets 4-2.
Wild: Lost to Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 [SO].

Last Ten:
Penguins: 5-4-1
Wild: 4-4-2

Opposition Blog: [The State of Hockey News]


“The Minnesota Wild have five games remaining. We all know how important each and every one of those games are. However, none of those games are going to be easy. Looking at the opponents, it’s almost the worst possible group of opponents for Minnesota: Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, Boston, St. Louis and Nashville. Within those 5 remaining games, there are heaps of other important numbers. Of those 5 games, 4 of them are at home. If ever there was a time to play extremely well in front of the home fans, it is now. Also, within those 5 remaining games, there are 10 points at stake. Considering how things have gone since the Olympic Break, I would be happy taking between 5-7 of the available 10 points. It’s not going to be easy, because of the 5 remaining teams we face, 3 of them already have guaranteed an appearance in the playoffs. The other 2 opponents would love nothing more than to play spoiler.”

What Happened Last Time: December 19, 2013 – Pens won 5-2 [Our Recap]

“But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s relax and celebrate how good Olli Maatta has been. Bylsma said in his post-game presser that scouts, both internally with the Pens and the NHL in general, were saying Maatta was NHL-ready as far back as February 2013. The game against the Wild was just more affirmation of that. He’s too good.

As for the Wild, what a surprisingly scumbag team. Keith Ballard, you like to hip check; we get it, bro.

Highlight of the night: Minnesota was 0 for 5 on the power play. Thanks, Mike Yeo!”

Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Sidney Crosby, why not?

Wild Player(s) to Watch: Matt Cooke. #BlameMattCooke

Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today’s Game: 

Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Daily Faceoff:

Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Lee Stempniak
Beau Bennett – Brandon Sutter – James Neal
Taylor Pyatt – Andrew Ebbett – Brian Gibbons
Tanner Glass – Craig Adams – Jayson Megna

Paul Martin – Brooks Orpik
Matt Niskanen – Olli Maatta
Robert Bortuzzo – Rob Scuderi

Jeff Zatkoff

Minnesota Wild lines from Daily Faceoff:

Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Charlie Coyle
Matt Moulson – Erik Haula – Jason Pominville
Matt Cooke – Kyle Brodziak – Justin Fontaine
Stephane Veilleux – Cody McCormick – Nino Niederreiter

Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Nate Prosser – Jonas Brodin
Jonathon Blum – Marco Scandella

Ilya Bryzgalov