The Pittsburgh Penguins earned their first victory of the season when trailing after two periods last time out and look to build off the inspiring comeback when they host the improving Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. The Penguins were down 3-0 entering the final 20 minutes of regulation Thursday before scoring three times and getting an overtime goal from Evgeni Malkin for a 4-3 victory that ended the New York Islanders' 10-game winning streak.
"I give our players a lot of credit," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan told reporters after his club improved to 3-1-1 in its last five games. "Their resilience. ... to keep fighting and keep pushing in that third period I just think is an indication of the character we have in the room." The Penguins have not beaten the Blackhawks since March 30, 2014 while dropping the past 10 meetings and giving up 11 goals in the two matchups last season. Chicago has played better after a rough start to 2019-20, going 3-2-1 in its last six contests after jumping to an early lead and holding off Vancouver 5-2 on Thursday at home with three points from former Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane. "(We) got a lot of pucks to the net, which was something we had spoken about being an issue," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton told reporters after his team posted 37 shots Thursday. "We put some more pressure on their team, which I think was needed."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network; NBCS Chicago, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (5-7-3): Kane has picked up his production of late with two goals and five assists during a four-game point streak and leads the team by a wide margin with 16. Alex DeBrincat, who has scored twice in the past three games, and Dylan Strome (three assists Thursday) are the only other players on the team in double figures with 10 points while Brandon Saad matched Kane and DeBrincat for the club lead with his fifth goal against Vancouver. Corey Crawford (2-4-1), who turned aside 36 shots Thursday, and Robin Lehner (3-3-2) will likely share the duties this weekend with the Hawks hosting Toronto on Sunday.
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (9-6-1): Pittsburgh has struggled with injuries all season and added another to the list when top-pair defenseman Kris Letang (12 points) suffered a lower-body injury against Boston on Monday and is considered week-to-week. Captain Sidney Crosby leads the team with 17 points, but has been blanked in the last three games while posting a minus-7 rating, and Malkin has three points in three contests since returning from the injured list. Right wing Bryan Rust has four goals and two assists with a plus-7 in five games since returning after missing the first 11 with a hand injury.
1. Chicago D Duncan Keith has four points in his last four games and is one goal from 100 for his career.
2. Pittsburgh F Jared McCann boasts two goals, three assists and a plus-8 rating in his past four contests.
3. The Blackhawks have four power-play goals in their past four games after going 0-for-20 in the previous six contests.