Maple Leafs vs. Penguins: NHL Live Puck Lines at YouWager
The Pittsburgh Penguins need to keep their momentum going even without Evgeni Malkin.
The Penguins are currently the Eastern Conference-leading NHL team and will go for their ninth victory in 10 games tonight at home versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Malkin injured his leg in the third period of Saturday’s 4-1 win versus the Detroit Red Wings. Even while the extent of the injury wasn’t known, the 27 year-old kept his left skate in the air as he was helped off the ice and would walk with a noticeable limp after the game.
Malkin went out in style with a goal and two assists while Sidney Crosby scored twice. Pittsburgh (23-10-1) has won seven straight with Malkin on the ice as he’s totaled 14 points. The Penguins only defeat in the past nine games came when he was out with a lower-body injury.
The team was also without defenseman Kris Letang due to an upper-body injury Saturday, and the they are still waiting for answers on both players. Letang joined fellow defensemen Brooks Orpik (concussion), Paul Martin (broken leg) and Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) on the injury report.
Even with the depleted blue line, Pittsburgh has allowed 11 goals in their last eight games.
YouWager experts consider special teams have been a key part of the recent success. The Penguins’ power play has converted 40.0 percent since a 6-5 shootout victory versus the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 27 that started the current 8-1-0 stretch.
In December, Pittsburgh has killed all 17 of their short-handed situations.
Crosby and Malkin scored on the power play Saturday while the Penguins went 5 for 5 on the kill, including a 5-minute major.
Pittsburgh and Toronto (17-14-3) have split the season series with each team winning on home ice. The Penguins’ 14 home victories — behind Crosby’s 23 points — are the most in hockey.
While Pittsburgh has won seven straight at home, the Maple Leafs have lost nine of 10 on the road.