The Pittsburgh Penguins will face the Colorado Avalanche on Monday Dec. 18 in Denver.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a 4 – 2 victory against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. They’ve traveled to Denver where a rematch will take place with the Avalanche.
The Avalanche beat the Penguins a week ago in Pittsburgh by a score of 2 -1. The Avs are 3-2 in their last five games.
Here are three keys to winning this rematch against the Avalanche:
Attack the Defense
The Avalanche are already pretty weak on defense, and Erik Johnson will not be playing tonight. Johnson leads the Avs on TOI, and usually draws the assignment against Malkin or Crosby.
Aside from Tyson Barrie, there isn’t a real threat on the Colorado blue line. Hopefully the lack of a true number one d-man will allow the Pens to tear through the Colorado rear guard.
Build Some Chemisty
According to the Penguins official web site, the forward lines are going to be looking a little different tonight. Josh Archibald will get a look on the top line with Sid, and Patric Hornqvist is out of the lineup. This will be Archibald’s third game of the season.
The Penguins are looking to spark some even strength offense by changing up the lines. They rank 29th in the league with 48 even strength tallies.
The Penguins penalty kill unit has killed 100% of opponent’s man advantage over the last eight games. If they can continue to kill penalties, and get their power play on the ice, good things will happen.
Colorado is average among the leagues special team rankings. If the game because one full of rule violations, it could swing in the Pens favor.