Pittsburgh Penguins: 3 Story Lines Against Vegas Golden Knights

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: Marc-Andre Fleury
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: Marc-Andre Fleury /

The Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. It’s the first trip to Pittsburgh for the Vegas franchise.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to bounce back from a lackadaisical loss at the hands of the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. They’ll get the opportunity at 7:00 EST against Marc – Andre Fleury and the Vegas Golden Knights.

Here are three story lines to follow for the game against Vegas.

Return of the Flower

Marc- Andre Fleury’s return to Pittsburgh makes this one of the most anticipated games of the season. The two teams played earlier this season in Vegas, and Fleury recorded a win against his former team.

The game will be full of emotion, as the Flower was probably the most universally beloved Penguin until he was exposed in the 2017 Expansion Draft. All week, players and media have been reliving their favorite Fleury memories.

Fleury also met with Mario Lemieux, receiving his 2017 Stanley Cup Ring.

There won’t be a dry eye in the house, as Fleury will receive the most heartfelt tribute video the Pens have aired in recent memory. It should make for an intense night of hockey.

Chasing 400…Still

While Fleury mans the net the for Vegas, Sidney Crosby will attempt to ruin his homecoming.

The Pittsburgh Penguins center is sitting at 399 career goals and hasn’t scored in his last eight games.

These are storybook circumstances. Having Flower back in town with Sid sitting on the cusp of another milestone, you almost don’t want it to happen to Marc. Then you remember the standings in the Metro and hope for a 8 – 0 shellacking.

With Patric Hornqvist and Conor Sheary both still nursing injuries, expect Sid to center Dominik Simon and Bryan Rust. Hopefully that trio can shake off the New Jersey game and get Sid #400.

Focus on Vegas

It was clear Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t happy with the effort on Saturday. The Pens will look to gain some intensity back against this persistent Vegas team.

Vegas currently sits in 2nd place in the league standings, with a healthy 10 point lead over Pacific division rivals. They are also ranked 2nd in goals for per game (3.37) and 8th in goals allowed per game (2.65). They won their previous game (4-3 over Washington) and are 6 -3 -1 in their last 10.

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Vegas does offense by committee. They’re the only team in the NHL with four skaters with at least 40 points (Jonathan Marchessault, David Perron, “Wild Bill” Karlsson, and Reilly Smith).

They can definitely run and gun opposing teams. They are 25 – 6 when out-shooting opponents, so look for Neal, Karlsson, and company to fire pucks on net.