NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, November 18th
(All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (15-5-2) at Pittsburgh Penguins (12-8-0), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Goals have been tough to come by lately for the
Pittsburgh Penguins, especially for star forward Evgeni Malkin.
Malkin and the Pens' offense will try to break out on Monday night as they
play host to an Anaheim Ducks club hoping to avoid a winless road trip.
The Penguins have lost four of their last five games, held to just a single
goal in each setback. They looked to have broken out on Friday night with a
4-1 win over Nashville, but fell right back into the loss column the following
night with a 4-1 setback to New Jersey.
Chris Kunitz had a goal and Marc-Andre Fleury gave up three goals on 21 shots
for Pittsburgh, which fell to 4-5-0 on the road compared to its 8-3-0 mark at
"We had our fair amount of chances, especially early on, we had some pretty
good looks and didn't score," Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. "We have
to find a way to bare down and get those goals."
Crosby is tied for second in the league with 25 points, but has just one goal
over his last 10 games. It has been worse for Malkin, who is mired in a
career-worst 13-game drought without a goal.
Malkin has a goal and four assists in six career meetings with the Ducks, who
have lost the first three of their four-game road trip. That first two
setbacks came in regulation before a 3-2 shootout defeat at the hands of
Carolina on Friday.
Corey Perry and Dustin Penner scored in regulation for Anaheim, while Viktor
Fasth made 21 saves.
"I think we played a really good game today," said Fasth, who had been out
since Oct. 16 with a lower-body injury. "We basically just gave up 20 shots
and had a lot of chances for us."
Anaheim had gone 8-0-1 before its three-game slide and is 7-5-2 on the road
this season. By comparison, the Ducks are 8-0-0 as the hosting club.
Injuries and illness have plagued the Ducks as of late, but they saw
encouraging events unfold Sunday. Forwards Matt Beleskey, Saku Koivu and
Mathieu Perreault were all on the ice for practice, leaving the possibility of
game action tonight for the trio.
Perreault missed Friday's game with flu-like symptoms, while Beleskey has been
limited to just two regular season games this season and none since Oct. 5 due
to a broken thumb. Koivu has been out the past 10 games with a concussion
suffered on Oct. 27.
The Ducks have won their past two encounters with the Penguins, including a
2-1 victory in Pittsburgh on Feb. 15, 2012 in the most recent meeting. Anaheim
snapped a four-game series road losing streak with the win, getting goals from
Perry and Teemu Selanne as well as 25 saves by Jonas Hiller.
Malkin went into that game having scored five goals with 10 points in his
previous five games, but was held without a point.
Hiller could get the start tonight and is 2-2-0 with a 3.02 goals against
average in four career meetings with the Pens, while Fasth has never faced
Fleury, who posted 27 saves in the most recent loss in this series, is 4-2-0
with a 2.52 GAA in six games against the Ducks.
11/18 10:28:27 ET