|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 27, 2018
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia Attendance: 17,537
Rested Crosby, Penguins visit banged-up Canucks
Pittsburgh Penguins at Vancouver Canucks
- Pittsburgh has won three straight over Vancouver, including a 3-2 overtime win on October 16. The Canucks have won five of the last eight in Vancouver, including three shootout wins.
- The Penguins won 9-1 at Calgary on Thursday, their largest margin of victory since November 10, 1995 at San Jose (also 9-1). It ties the largest margin of victory in a road game in franchise history.
- The Canucks lost at home to the Coyotes, 4-1, giving up three goals in the third period after entering the period tied at one. They are being outscored by seven goals in the third period, tied for the second-worst third-period goal differential in the NHL (St. Louis -- minus-nine).
- Patric Hornqvist had two goals against Calgary, his second straight game with multiple goals. He had multiple goals just twice all season last year.
- Anders Nilsson has allowed 11 goals in his last three games (all losses) after allowing just five in his first three (all wins). He has a 3.05 goal-against average since 2015-16, highest in the NHL (minimum 75 GP).
- The Canucks have played just three games at home this season, going 2-1-0 in those games. They are shooting are shooting 13.0 percent at home, third highest in the NHL, while the Penguins are shooting 15.8 percent on the road, second-highest in hockey (Maple Leafs -- 16.3 percent).
- Sens hire ex-Leafs asst. Smith as coach
- Isles sign C Nelson for 6 years, $36M
- Marchand avoids injury in scrimmage
- Arbitrator upholds Voynov's suspension
- Pens re-sign D Ruhwedel to 2-year deal
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Some rest is doing wonders for Sidney Crosby.
The Pittsburgh captain has three goals in his past two games as the Penguins prepare to visit the injury-riddled Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. The goals came after the Penguins enjoyed some rest for a few days in the scenic Rocky Mountain town of Banff, Alta., before visiting Edmonton and Calgary.
"It was good that we got out here (to Western Canada) fairly early to get our feet under us, time change and all that stuff," Crosby told reporters. "Banff was a great trip, it's beautiful there and we had some good practices.
"It was good we didn't have to deal with back-to-backs. Usually you're dealing with a back-to-back at some point out here. We get to play every second day and get some rhythm."
Crosby scored two goals Tuesday in Edmonton, where he outperformed two-time defending NHL scoring champion Connor McDavid, and notched another marker in Calgary on Thursday as the Penguins shellacked the Flames 9-1. Before this week, Crosby had gone the first six games of the season without a goal for the first time in his career.
Two of his goals have come on seemingly impossible plays featuring backhands.
"He's one of the best players not just shooting with his backhand, but playing on his backhand," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan told reporters.
Crosby's surge has helped the Penguins post three straight wins since their last loss, which came at home to the Canucks on October 16. But the Pens will face a distinctly different Vancouver team Saturday.
The Canucks are expected to be without injured defensemen Alex Edler (knee) and Chris Tanev (hip) as well as winger Sven Baetschi, one of their most offensively gifted forwards. Rookie center Elias Pettersson, who took the NHL by storm before suffering a concussion, and winger Brock Boeser, the club's leading scorer last season, are questionable as they continue to recover from their health woes. All five players were missing from Thursday's 4-1 road loss to Arizona.
With Baertschi, Pettersson and Boeser hurting, other Canucks are hoping to pick up the offensive slack. Vancouver players lamented their scoring struggles against the Coyotes.
Lou Eriksson, who earns $6 million per season but has not scored since February, hopes to do better after being stopped on a nice setup from Bo Horvat on a two-on-one Thursday.
"It's too bad because I can't find a way to score a goal right now," Eriksson told Sportsnet.ca. "Of course, it's frustrating. You always want to score goals and right now they're not coming."
Meanwhile, fellow forward Nikolay Goldobin is trying to stay positive after going nine games without a point.
I'm going to stick with it, I guess," he told Sportsnet. "Luck will come."
The Canucks are also looking to improve defensively after they allowed the Coyotes to break open a 1-1 tie with three unanswered goals in the third period.
Defenseman Derrick Pouliot hopes to do better after his blatant giveaway in the Canucks end led to the winning goal.
"Past couple of games haven't been great," he told Sportsnet.ca. "It's not a secret; I'm not going to hide from that. You've got to find a way to... turn things around."
The Canucks will need to turn things around quickly, because it's hard to tell what Crosby -- not to mention the Penguins' strong supporting cast -- will do next.
Updated October 26, 2018