Pittsburgh Penguins Back In The Top Ten In National Hockey League Power Rankings


After their 5-0 loss Saturday to the Canucks in Vancouver, the Pittsburgh Penguins (30-15-8. 68 points) aim to rebound at home tonight against the Detroit Red Wings at CONSOL Energy Center.

The Black and Gold has been up and down of late, going 4-4-2 in their last ten contests. They slipped back to second place in the Metropolitan Division, two points back of the New York Islanders (35-18-1, 71 points). The Pens are fifth overall in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.

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The Isles moved back to the top spot in the Metro with a 3-2 victory Tuesday at home against the Edmonton Oilers. They are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games, and welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Red Wings (31-12-9, 71 points) come into this evening’s matchup 9-1-0 in their last 10 contests. They are in third place in the Atlantic Division of the NHL’s Eastern Conference.

Tonight is the second of three regular-season meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals. Detroit won the first contest 4-3 Thursday, Oct. 23 at Joe Louis Arena in overtime. The game will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.

The Pens have played 53 games in the NHL. Here is our Tale of the Tape for Mike Johnston’s crew:

Pens At Home: 17-8-3 / On The Road: 13-7-5

NHL Eastern Conference: 19-11-7

Metropolitan Division Record: 7-9-4 / Atlantic Division Record: 12-2-3

NHL Western Conference: 11-4-1

Central Division Record: 6-2-1 / Pacific Division Record: 5-2-0

Goals Scored: 151 / Goals Allowed: 134

Power Play Percentage: 23.1 (9th In NHL – Tied with Boston) / Penalty Kill Percentage: 85.9 (4th In NHL)

Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is back in uniform, but coach Mike Babcock is going to go with Petr Mrazek, who is 13-4-1 this season and 8-2-0 since replacing the injured Howard in the first period Jan. 10 against the Washington Capitals. The 6-foot-2, 183-pound netminder from the Czech Republic has a 2.42 goals-against-average and a .914 save percentage.

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  • Pens’ coach Mike Johnston said left wing Blake Comeau would be a game time decision if he plays tonight against Detroit. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound forward was on the line with Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist at Wednesday morning’s skate.

    The Penguins re-assigned Scott Harrington Monday to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 201-pound defenseman has played 10 games with Pittsburgh this season and recorded seven assists. Forward Mark Arcobello was placed on waivers on Tuesday.

    Time to go behind the glass and take a look at what the experts around the internet are saying about the Black and Gold this week in the pecking order of the NHL.

    Bleacher Report – This Week #7 / Last Week #9 – Jonathan Willis points out that since the calendar flipped to 2015, Kris Letang has 18 points in 15 contests which gives him 41 points on the season. The 6-foot, 201-pound Montreal native is two back of the Calgary Flames’ Mark Giordano for the scoring lead among NHL defensemen.

    CBSSports – This Week: #9 / Last Week: #9 – Chris Peters feels the Pens have not taken advantage of the Islanders’ Kyle Okposo being out of the lineup to move up in the standings.

    ESPN – This Week: #10 / Last Week: #12 – Scott Burnside likes that Pittsburgh is getting healthier, but does not like seeing Detroit, Chicago and Washington as three of the next four opponents on the schedule.

    FanSided – This Week: #8 / Last Week: #10 – Patrick Schmidt has concerns about the all or nothing aspect of the Penguins of late. They either shutout their opponents or get shutout themselves.

    Puck Drunk Love – This Week #7 / Last Week #11 – Mike Burse’s analytics has Pittsburgh moving up three spots this week back into the Top 10.

    Rant Sports – This Week #10 / Last Week #8 – The writers at Rant need to see more consistency in Marc-Andre Fleury’s recent performances.

    SI.com – This Week #9 / Last Week #11 – The Sports Illustrated crew reminds everyone that Pittsburgh has three weeks left to make something happen to find another true scorer to complement their excellent playmakers.

    Up Next: The Black and Gold head north to Ontario Thursday, Feb. 12 to skate against the Ottawa Senators (21-22-9, 51 points) at the Canadian Tire Centre. The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

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