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Reply To: NHL • Saturday Service Plays • 11/28/15

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Preview: Edmonton at Pittsburgh

When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 28, 2015

Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, and each team hopes to quickly forget about its overtime loss on the road the night before. Pittsburgh lost for the second time in three games after a 2-1 setback in Columbus while Edmonton has dropped three in a row (0-2-1) and six of its last seven (1-4-2) following a 4-3 decision in Detroit, leaving the Oilers with the fewest points in the NHL (16).

The Penguins defeated Edmonton 2-1 on Nov. 6 for their third straight victory over the Oilers and are 8-0-2 in the last 10 meetings. Pittsburgh received a scare late in the second period Friday when captain Sidney Crosby was cross-checked in the neck by Brandon Dubinsky and went to the room, but returned to start the third period and played the rest of the game. Crosby (five goals, 14 points) has three goals and two assists in his last four games while spending time earlier in the week denying a report that he and team owner Mario Lemieux had a falling out, telling reporters: “I feel stupid even commenting on it.” Teammate Evgeni Malkin (team bests of nine goals and 20 points) is also hitting his best stride with five tallies and three assists in his last five contests after scoring Friday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, SNET (Edmonton), ROOT (Pittsburgh)

ABOUT THE OILERS (7-14-2): Edmonton got an unexpected boost from right wing Iiro Pakarinen, who scored twice Friday – matching his career total from his first 31 games. Defenseman Justin Schultz returns to the lineup Saturday after missing 14 games (back) while the Oilers play their second contest without Nail Yakupov, who is expected to miss 2-to-4 weeks with an ankle injury. Taylor Hall (team bests of nine goals and 15 assists) is pointless in three games.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (13-8-1): While Pittsburgh’s superstars are starting to heat up, Patric Hornqvist continues to struggle. The seventh-round pick by Nashville in 2005 has four goals – scoring in back-to-back games Nov. 11-13 and Oct. 29-31 – after totaling 25 in his first season with the Penguins in 2014-15. Pittsburgh has scored a power-play goal in five straight games (6-for-24) after going 0-for-13 in their previous three contests.


1. Edmonton is 3-for-25 on the power play in its last seven games after going 2-for-3 in the past two contests.

2. The Oilers are 1-1-0 in the second contest of back-to-back games this season while the Penguins are 1-2-0.

3. Pittsburgh D Kris Letang has a team-high 12 assists but is also a club-worst minus-14.

PREDICTION: Penguins 3, Oilers 2