Preview: Panthers at Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins may have seen their season-high eight-game winning streak come to an end in their last outing, but the defeat did not slow down Kris Letang. The defenseman carries a season-high seven-game point streak (three goals, seven assists) into Tuesday's contest as the Penguins wrap up a three-game homestand versus the Florida Panthers.
Letang recorded a point for the 10th time in his last 11 games by setting up Jake Guentzel's first-period goal in Sunday's 5-3 setback to Chicago. Guentzel (two goals, two assists) joins Evgeni Malkin (one goal, three assists), Dominik Simon (two goals, two assists) and defenseman Marcus Pettersson (three assists) with three-game point streaks for Pittsburgh, which looks to finish off its homestand on a high note before heading west for a five-game road trip. Florida opens a five-game trek after answering a 6-2-0 stretch with back-to-back 4-3 losses against Buffalo and Columbus, with the latter setback coming in overtime at BB&T Center on Saturday. "We had a lot of great parts in the game, a lot of great pushes, but the one big mistake keeps haunting us. We've got to get better at that," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Florida, AT&T SportsNet-Pittsburgh
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (17-16-7): Mike Hoffman has been on a goal-scoring binge, tallying in back-to-back contests and five times over his last seven games to boost his club-best total to 20. Jonathan Huberdeau also tallied versus the Blue Jackets to continue his stellar surge, as the 25-year-old has recorded 31 (seven goals, 24 assists) of his team-leading 46 points over the last 22 games. Huberdeau collected four points in three meetings last season with Pittsburgh, highlighted by a two-goal performance in a 4-3 setback on Oct. 14, 2017.
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (23-13-6): Captain Sidney Crosby, who leads the team in goals (19), assists (32) and points (51), owns a six-game home point streak (eight goals, four assists) against Florida while fellow forward Phil Kessel carries a four-game assist streak (five total) versus the club into Tuesday's tilt. While Crosby and Kessel tend to secure the majority of the headlines, the second line of Malkin, Patric Hornqvist and Simon have combined for 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in its last three contests overall. Hornqvist, in fact, has six points (three goals, three assists) in his last six games overall while Malkin has multiple points in his last two contests versus the Panthers, collecting three goals and two assists in that stretch.
1. Pittsburgh C Derick Brassard has scored six of his seven goals on home ice.
2. Panthers G Roberto Luongo owns a 15-10-5 mark with four shutouts in 33 career encounters with the Penguins.
3. Letang will move past Rick Kehoe (722) on Tuesday for sole possession of sixth place on the franchise's all-time games played list.
PREDICTION: Panthers 4, Penguins 2