The Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their three-game road trip in Dallas against the Stars tonight. The first two games were both in Florida, as they suffered a 4-2 defeat against the Panthers and then followed it up with a 3-2 loss the next night. It was a hard loss against the Lightning in a game that could have gone either way. The Lightning were able to bury a late goal on the power-play to edge ahead of the Penguins for a win.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made a clutch save with less than a second remaining on the clock to rob the Penguins of the tying marker. With Vasilevskiy sprawled out on the ice, he made a glove save with chaos in front of him around the crease. They reviewed the play to check if the puck crossed the line with the puck in his glove, but there wasn’t any indisputable evidence to change the call. The officials in Toronto took a really hard look at it for nearly 10 minutes. Despite coming up short in Tampa, they put forth a decent effort on a back-to-back against a solid Lightning squad.
The Penguins have one more opportunity to get a win on this road trip in Dallas on Saturday. They will be back home on Tuesday night to welcome the Philadelphia Flyers for the Battle of Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh will get some bodies back tonight from IR with the return of Nick Bjugstad and Ryan Rust. They are officially listed as game-time decisions, but barring any setbacks, the Penguins will have them back on the ice. Don’t expect too much out of them in their first game back, though it does provide the Pens with much needed depth on their forward lines. Head below for our free Penguins vs. Stars pick.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Dallas Stars Pick
The Dallas Stars are getting their season back on track after a slow start to 2019-20. It took them a while to find their first 2 points in regulation, but after that money got off their back, things started to look up in Dallas. Following a tough 1-7-1 stretch, the Stars are winners in three straight games thanks to some stifling defence and goaltending. That was the philosophy that carried the Stars last season, and after some delay, the Stars look like that team again.
Their three-game win streak has featured wins of 4-1, 2-1, and 2-1. Ben Bishop looks comfortable between the pipes again, as he’s allowed a goal in each of his previous two outings. Like the rest of the Stars, there was some rust on Bishop’s wheels to open the season. However, Bishop appears to be getting back into a groove.
Dallas finished 2nd in the NHL a season ago with just 2.44 goals allowed per game. It took them a minute, but their back on that path. Overall on the year, Bishop holds a 2.38 GAA and 0.92 save percentage, so he’s trending in the right direction after a shaky start in early October. He gets a Penguins team tonight who have been struggling to find the back of the net recently.
The Penguins have scored just 4 goals in their previous three games. That equates to an average of 1.3 goals per game. Rust and Bjugstad are expected back in the line tonight, but it’s hard to expect them to be at 100% as they get back out on the against a physical Stars club on the road. Pardon the pun, but there should be some rust on Rust and Bjugstad. It isn’t like the Stars have been scoring at a high clip either, though.
Dallas have scored 2 or fewer goals in seven of their previous eight games. Also note that the Stars have scored 2 or fewer in their last four meetings with the Penguins. Scoring 2 goals is fine with them if the defense and Bishop are on point, though. They won a lot of games with that plan last season. The Stars have notched just 1.6 goals per game at home in 2019-20. Expect a physical game for a 3-2 or 3-1 final on Saturday night in Dallas.