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NHL Preview: Minnesota Wild (12-12-4) at Pittsburgh Penguins (13-13-3)



PITTSBURGH PENGUINS All-Time Wild Record: 14-15-2 (6-7-2 at Xcel Energy Center, 8-8- 0 at Pittsburgh)

2022-23: Minnesota went 0-2-0 against Pittsburgh…The Penguins won the series-opening matchup, 6-4, at Xcel Energy Center (11/17) and claimed a 4-1 victory in the second game at PPG Paints Arena (4/6)…C Joel Eriksson Ek (2- 0=2) and RW Mats Zuccarello (0-2=0) paced Minnesota with two points…RW Brandon Duhaime (1-0=1), D Matt Dumba (1-0=1) and LW Marcus Johansson (1-0=1) also scored for the Wild…G Filip Gustavsson saved 26 of 31 shots faced for Minnesota in the first meeting…G Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27-of-31 shots faced in the second meeting…LW Jake Guentzel led Pittsburgh with five points (1-4=5)…C Sidney Crosby tallied four points (2-2=4)…D Kris Letang (2- 1=3) and RW Rickard Rakell (1-2=3) each had three points…G Tristan Jarry was 2-0-0 with a 2.51 GAA and a .902 SV%.

WILD LEADERS: Johansson leads Minnesota with 23 points (10-13=23) in 40 career games against Pittsburgh…Zuccarello owns 22 points (6-16=22) in 34 games…D Zach Bogosian has 12 points (4-8=12) in 29 games…LW Pat Maroon (3-7=10 in 21 games) and D Jonas Brodin (2-8=10 in 18 games) each have 10 points.

WILD GOALIES: Fleury is 4-4-0 with a 3.19 GAA, a .900 SV% and one shutout in eight starts vs. Pittsburgh…Gustavsson is 1-2-0 with a 4.02 GAA and a .875 SV% in three games (two starts).

PENGUINS LEADERS: D Erik Karlsson leads Pittsburgh with 33 points (9-24=33) in 27 games vs. Minnesota…Crosby (10-22=32, in 22 games) and C Jeff Carter (15-17=32, in 43 games) each have 32 points…C Evgeni Malkin owns 23 points (10-13=23) in 18 matches…Letang has 18 points (4-14=18) in 20 contests.

PENGUINS GOALIES: Jarry is 3-0-1 with a 2.95 GAA and a .900 SV% in four career starts vs. the Wild…G Alex Nedeljkovic is 0-1-1 with a 5.50 GAA and a .828 SV% in two starts.

FAST FACTS: The Wild went 9-2-1 in its first 12 meetings against the Penguins and is 3-7-1 in its last 11 meetings


Jared Spurgeon: lower body

Jonas Brodin: upper body

2023-24 Total Man Games Lost: 54


• Minnesota is 7-2-0 since Nov. 28 and ranks T-2nd in the NHL in wins and T-3rd in points (14) during that span. • Since Nov. 28, the Wild leads the NHL with a 1.56 GAA and a .947 team save percentage. • Since Nov. 28 Minnesota ranks sixth in the NHL with a 87.1 penalty-kill percentage (27 for 31).


• In nine games played since Nov. 28, Minnesota is 7-0-0 when scoring a game’s first goal. • Minnesota leads the NHL with a plus-9 first-period goal differential since Nov. 28 and is T-2nd with 12 first-period goals scored. • Since Nov. 28 the Wild has allowed 0.33 first-period goals per game, the second-best mark in the NHL.



Dec. 16: Toronto 7, Pittsburgh 0 – Scotiabank Centre

PIT Goals: None

Multiple Points: None

Goalie: Jarry (10 saves/14), Nedeljkovic (18 saves/21)

Key Stats: Pittsburgh was shut out for just the second time this season.

PP: 0-3

PK: 5-7

Dec. 14: Pittsburgh 4, Montreal 3 (SO) – Bell Centre

PIT Goals: Crosby (2), Guentzel (PPG)

Multiple Points: Crosby (2G-1A), Karlsson (2A)

Goalie: Nedeljkovic (39 saves, 42 shots)

Key Stats: Jansen Harkins’ first-career shootout goal in the 12th round helped the Penguins to victory.

PP: 2-3

PK: 3-4


Position Player Status Consecutive Games Missed Total Games Missed

F Rickard Rakell Upper-Body 12 12

F Noel Acciari Lower-Body 7 7

F Matt Nieto Lower-Body 7 7

F Bryan Rust Upper-Body 4 7

2023-24 Total Regular-Season Man-Games Lost: 83

Pittsburgh’s All-Time Record vs. WILD: 16-12-3

In Pittsburgh: 8-6-2

In Minnesota: 8-6-1

OT Record vs. Wild: 1-0-3

Shootout Record vs. Wild: 0-2

2022-23 Results: Pittsburgh went 2-0-0.

Penguins All-Time Point Leaders vs. WILD:

Sidney Crosby: 22 GP, 32 PTS (10G-22A)

Evgeni Malkin: 18 GP, 23 PTS (10G-13A)

Kris Letang: 20 GP, 18 PTS (4G-14A)


-The Penguins return home for a brief two-game homestand as they take on the Minnesota Wild at PPG Paints Arena (TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh; Radio: 105.9 The X). -The Penguins enter tonight’s game with points in nine-consecutive games versus the Wild (8-0-1). -The Penguins are 12-3-1 in the last 16 games played against the Wild dating back to Nov. 4, 2014. -Pittsburgh has points in five-straight (4-0-1) and eight of its last nine games (7-1-1) here at PPG Paints Arena versus Minnesota. -Tonight’s game is the beginning of a stretch where Pittsburgh will play six of its next nine games at home.


1) Kris Letang has recorded a point in his last seven games against Minnesota (3G-6A) and has 18 points (4G-14A) in 20 career games versus them.

2) Sidney Crosby has one goal on 12 shots (8.3%) in five career games versus former teammate Marc-Andre Fleury. Evgeni Malkin has two goals on 14 shots (14.3%) in five games against Fleury.

3) Evgeni Malkin has had a hot hand against the Wild in his career with 10 goals and 13 assists in 18 career games played against them. He’s scored the game-winning goal in two of his last four games against them.

4) Pittsburgh’s nine game point streak against Minnesota is its third-longest point streak versus any one team (14 game point streak vs. ARI and 10 game point streak vs. CBJ).

5) Pittsburgh’s team faceoff percentage of 54.6% ranks second in the NHL behind the New York Rangers (55.3%).

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