Game Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Anaheim Ducks

The Pittsburgh Penguins are hosting the Anaheim Ducks tonight at PPG Paints Arena at 7 PM. This will be the first of two battles between the two this season, with the second coming in February in Anaheim. The Penguins are looking to avoid their third straight loss as they have battled injuries and inconsistent play the past few weeks. They currently sit at 21-15-6 and one point out of the final wild card position. The Ducks are now 12-27-4 and are two points out of last place in the western conference. 

This will be forward Rickard Rakell’s first meeting against his former team since he was acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline last season. He spent eight seasons for the Ducks and scored the most goals out of anyone on the Ducks in that span, and was second in points in that same span. Rakell currently has 15 goals and 26 points in 42 games with the Penguins this season, and I’m expecting him to have a solid game against his former team. 

As much as the Ducks suck, look for their young talent to challenge the Pens. Forward Trevor Zegras is a very skilled and speedy forward who is creative and can create scoring chances no matter where he is on the ice. He is currently second on the Ducks with 32 points this season. The Ducks’ three scoring leaders are all under 25. Forward Troy Terry is heading to the All-Star Game for the Ducks. He has 34 points for the Ducks this season. Rookie forward Mason McTavish has 26 points for the Ducks and sits third in points on the team. Their young stars are the only good thing that the Ducks have to be happy about this season. Don’t be fooled by their bad play as an easy game for the Penguins because their young stars can easily make a game challenging for the oldest team in the NHL. 

The Penguins defense has been terrible lately. Injuries have played a big role in this, however. Three of the Penguins’ top six defensemen are currently out. One defenseman who has looked solid throughout the struggle has been Pierre-Olivier Joseph. He seems to be getting better with each game he’s playing. He is developing into a solid NHL defenseman. Head Coach Mike Sullivan has been giving him more minutes per game, and against a bad team, I could see the Penguins giving him 20+ minutes tonight, or I think they should. With Kris Letang and Jeff Petry missing again tonight (Marcus Pettersson will return tonight), Joesph should get a lot of minutes. Once Letang and Petry return, or if he struggles tonight, put him back to his usual 15-17 minutes a night. 

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
  2. The Final Countdown
  3. Here Come the Playoffs
  4. Home Stretch
  5. Kevy Cooks

Nik Shermeto

PT ‘23 | 🇺🇸/🇨🇦 | Penguins writer for Inside The Rink | Thoughts are my own.

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