National Hockey League
Preview
Pittsburgh at Colorado
When: 9:00 PM ET, Monday, December 18, 2017
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins look to string together a pair of wins to end a short road trip when they visit the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. The Penguins, who had an uneven start to the season, snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory at Arizona on Saturday and hope to avenge last Monday's 2-1 loss to the Avalanche.

Pittsburgh coughed up a two-goal lead against the Coyotes before defenseman Olli Maatta’s goal with 14.6 seconds remaining snapped a 2-2 tie and improved the Penguins to 7-9-2 on the road this season. “It was a little discouraging when they tied it up. I thought we controlled a lot of the play for a lot of the night,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan told reporters after the win. “It was just one of those nights. I really liked our stick-to-it-iveness. We just went back to work.” Colorado rallied from four goals down to get within one before suffering a 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday despite captain Gabriel Landeskog’s career-high five points, including his second hat trick of the season. “We’re here to play and we’re here to compete,” Landeskog told reporters. “We’re not going to be pushed around and we’re not going to give up on anybody. The most important thing is that we showed that to ourselves (Saturday).”

TV: 9 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Pittsburgh, Altitude (Colorado)

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (17-14-3): Pittsburgh is just 4-4-0 this month, but that record could be much worse if not for a penalty-killing unit that has been a perfect 23-for-23 in the last eight contests. Phil Kessel tops the team with 15 goals, including four in his last seven games, and 38 points - five more than captain Sidney Crosby, who has recorded eight goals and nine assists in his last 12 contests. Evgeni Malkin has notched at least one point in seven of eight games this month after scoring his 10th goal of the campaign in Saturday’s victory.

ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (15-15-2): Defenseman Erik Johnson was suspended two games for boarding Tampa Bay’s Vladislav Namestnikov on Saturday. Landeskog’s big performance gave him 13 goals and pulled him within a pair of team leader Nathan MacKinnon, who has collected four tallies and an assist in his last two games to increase his team-best total to 38 points. Alex Kerfoot (21 points), who has missed the last three contests with a lower-body injury, could return Monday.

OVERTIME

1. The Penguins have won five of their last six games at Colorado but dropped their last two at home against the Avalanche.

2. Colorado G Semyon Varlamov is 3-1-1 with a .917 save percentage in his career against the Penguins.

3. Crosby is four goals away from 400 in his career and RW Patric Hornqvist needs two assists to reach 200.

PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Avalanche 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Pittsburgh 17-14-2-1 W1 10-5-1-0 7-9-1-1 0-1-0-0 17-13-2-1 4-2-0-0
Colorado 15-15-1-1 L1 9-6-1-0 6-9-0-1 1-2-0-1 14-13-1-0 4-5-0-1
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh Colorado
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
12/11/17 COL 2 PIT 1 40 26 0-3 28 39 0-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Pittsburgh J. Guentzel 1
Colorado M. Barberio 1
Goals Player  
Pittsburgh P. Kessel 1
Colorado M. Barberio 1
Assists Player  
Pittsburgh J. Guentzel 1
Colorado E. Johnson 1
Saves Player  
Pittsburgh T. Jarry 26
Colorado J. Bernier 39
Season
Total Points Player  
Pittsburgh P. Kessel 40
Colorado N. MacKinnon 44
Goals Player  
Pittsburgh P. Kessel 16
Colorado N. MacKinnon 19
Assists Player  
Pittsburgh P. Kessel 24
Colorado N. MacKinnon 25
Saves Player  
Pittsburgh M. Murray 642
Colorado S. Varlamov 671
Quickchart Matchup
Pittsburgh Off vs  Colorado Def
2.91 GF
3.31 GA
35 Shots
32.1 Shots
31 PP
22 PK
Colorado Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
3.12 GF
3.15 GA
29.6 Shots
30.5 Shots
24 PP
24 PK