The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to continue their hot start when they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
The Penguins have gotten it done on both ends of the rink to open with four victories in their first five games.
The Penguins, behind Sidney Crosby’s three goals and seven assists, are averaging a league-leading 5.2 goals per game. Goalie Tristan Jarry is 4-0 in the net and allows just 1.69 goals per game, which is a major reason the Penguins are fourth in the league with a .937 save percentage.
The two teams enter their meeting coming off decidedly different performances on Saturday.
Crosby netted the 79th game-winning goal of his career to highlight the Penguins’ rally from a two-goal second-period deficit, which earned them their first road win of the season in a 6-3 victory over Columbus.
“We weren’t prepared to play in the first period, and we got totally outplayed by Columbus,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I give our players a lot of credit. I thought we responded well after that.”
Danton Heinen had two goals and Brock McGinn, Josh Archibald and Jan Rutta each added a goal to back Jarry’s 29 saves. Crosby and Kasperi Kapanen had two assists apiece.
The Penguins broke open a 3-3 tie after 40 minutes by dominating the third period. Crosby, Heinen and McGinn scored in a span of less than 10 minutes to punctuate the Penguins’ game-ending streak of five unanswered goals.
“We brought two different teams,” Pittsburgh defender Kris Letang said. “We were slow at the beginning. But when we get to our game, when we play with intensity and play hard, I think we’re one of the best teams in the league.”
The Oilers gave up a power-play goal a little over five minutes into the game and never got on track offensively in a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The Oilers outshot the Blues 23-22 and got 20 saves from goalie Jack Campbell.
“We’re not in the business of taking moral victories. We’re in the business of getting better each day,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “That was a good team we played tonight. There was some good in our game, but there has to be more for us to get the result we want to get.”
Oilers center Connor McDavid is tied for third in the league with 10 points (five goals, five assists). Leon Draisaitl leads the team with six assists.
Still, the Oilers have dropped three of their past four games, getting outscored 14-11 over that span.
“This is our fifth game of the year, and we have played, in my opinion, five one-goal hockey games — (with) some empty-net goals here or there,” Woodcroft said. “Right now, we’ve won two of those one-goal games and we’ve lost three of them. So there’s definitely things that we can work on to improve.”
The Penguins had won their past six games at Edmonton before McDavid posted a goal and three assists in a 5-2 victory last year.
–Field Level Media