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Penguins vs. Oilers Scouting Report

Sunday, 10.9.2011 / 10:00 AM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Penguins vs. Oilers Scouting Report
Pittsburgh Penguins
Home: 0-0-0-0
Road: 2-0-0-4

WHEN: Oct. 9, 2011 - 9:00 pm   |   WHERE: Rexall Place
ROOT SPORTS  |  LISTEN: Penguins 24/7 Radio, 105.9 FM
Edmonton Oilers
Home: 0-0-0-0

  Pittsburgh Penguins at Edmonton Oilers 






Jordan Eberle
RW  -  #14
  2010-11 Stats:
  18 Goals
  25 Assists
  43 Points
• Produced TSN’s Play of the Year last season with his first NHL goal, where he made a toe-drag move around Calgary defenseman Ian White before roofing the puck backhand over goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. (Watch it here!)

• Named the 2010 Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year after scoring 106 points (50G-56A) in 57 games during the 2009-10 season with Regina of the Western Hockey League.

• Prolific international junior career was capped by earning Tournament MVP and Best Forward at the 2010 World Junior Championships, where he notched 13 points (8G-5A) through eight games to make him Canada’s all-time goal-scoring leader at the tournament.
Ales Hemsky
RW -  #83
  2010-11 Stats:
  14 Goals
  28 Assists
  42 Points
• Has had a pair of injury-plagued seasons since posting a team-leading 66 points in 2008-09, playing just a combined 66 games over the last two years.

• Scored at quite a torrid clip in 2010-11 despite missing 35 games, posting 42 points (14G-28A) in 47 games – opening the season with four goals and eight points in the first nine contests. 

• The 28-year-old Czech forward, drafted 13th overall by Edmonton in 2001, is just 10 games away from 500, compiling 395 points (114G-281A) in that span.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
C  -  #93
  2010-11 Stats:
• Eighteen-year-old from Burnaby, British Columbia was drafted first overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

• Playmaking center renowned for his uncanny vision and hockey sense notched 106 points (31G-75A) during the 2010-11 campaign with Red Deer of the Western Hockey League.

Although it could be argued that the teenager still needs to develop physically at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Nugent-Hopkins led the Oilers in preseason scoring with six points in five games.
The Penguins complete their season-opening trip to Western Canada by taking on the Edmonton Oilers, a team that’s trying to climb out of the bottom of the league standings after missing the playoffs for five-straight seasons.

The Oilers have been in full rebuilding mode because of their struggles the past few years. Not only have they been drafting high, but general manager Steve Tambellini has also been busy stocking picks and making trades – and they’re starting to reap the benefits. Their forward lineup is filled with exciting young talents that Edmonton will be depending on to revitalize their offense, as they finished with the third-worst (tied) goals for in the league last year.

Taylor Hall, the first-overall pick in the 2011 Entry Draft, is back to full health after suffering a high-ankle sprain back in March. He’s ready to build off a solid rookie campaign, where he led the team with 22 goals in 65 games. The Oilers will also be looking for a big year from another one of their sophomore forwards, Jordan Eberle. Eberle, a 2008 first-round pick, might be the Oilers’ purest goal scorer despite flying under the radar for most of last season.

With 2007 first-round pick Sam Gagner sidelined for the short term with an ankle injury, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – this summer’s No. 1-overall pick – is getting a look at the NHL level. The playmaking center with vision and smarts led the Oilers with six points in five preseason games. Edmonton also has a decent crop of veterans up front to complement their talented youngsters. That group includes captain Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth, who returned to Edmonton this summer after spending the last five seasons with different teams.

On the backend, former Penguin Ryan Whitney – their best offensive defenseman – continues to rehab from an ankle injury that limited him to 35 games last season. In his stead, Edmonton’s longest-tenured blueliner – Tom Gilbert – will assume an expanded role.

And in goal, head coach Tom Renney officially named Devan Dubnyk his starter on Sunday morning. Dubnyk, 25, showed promise in his first full NHL season, posting 12 wins in 35 games along with an impressive .916 save percentage.
  • The Penguins have won four consecutive games against the Oilers, outscoring them by an 18-9 margin.
  • A win tonight by the Penguins would establish the team’s longest all-time winning streak against the Oilers. Pittsburgh’s current four-game winning streak began with a 4-2 on Dec. 5, 2007 at Rexall Place. The Penguins also won four straight games against the Oilers from March 4, 2000-Feb. 18, 2003.
  • Pittsburgh is 8-2-1 against Edmonton since 1999-00, including a 4-1 mark at Rexall Place.
  • With a win tonight the Penguins would begin the season 3-0 for just the fifth time in franchise history –and the first time since 1994-95 when they started 12-0-1. Pittsburgh has won five straight road games dating back to a 4-2 win at Florida on April 2 of last season.
  • The Penguins’ win at Calgary on Saturday marked just the third time in team history that the Penguins have won back-to-back consecutive road games to begin a season 2-0 (1998-99; 1994-95).
  • Tonight marks the back end of the Penguins’ first set of back-to-back games. They will play 16 sets of back-to-backs this year. Last year they went 21-9-4 in back-to-backs, with a 9-6-2 mark the first night and a 12-3-2 record the second game.
  • Pittsburgh has scored a pair of man-advantage goals in both games this season –the first time they have tallied two or more power-play goals in back-to-back games since Oct. 16 and 18, 2010 (at Philadelphia, 2-for-8; vs. Ottawa, 2-for-4). Dating back to last season the Penguins have scored at least one power-play goal in five straight games (7-for-19, 36.8%).
  • Over the final two months of last season, forward Tyler Kennedy was the Penguins’ top goal-scoring threat, tickling the twine 14 times over his final 30 games. Kennedy finished the season with a career-high 22 tallies –including seven on the power play. His goal against Calgary on Oct. 8 gives him 15 goals over his last 32 regular-season games.




2010-11 STAT CHART

D Robert Bortuzzo, lower-body (indefinitely)
F Sidney Crosby, concussion (indefinitely)
F Dustin Jeffrey, knee (indefinitely)
D Brooks Orpik, lower abdominal/hernia (day-to-day)
F Nick Petersen, concussion (indefinitely)
D Boris Valabik, knee (indefinitely)
Crosby (32) Hall (22)
Letang (42) Hemsky (28)
Crosby (66) Eberle (43)
Cooke (129) Peckham (198)
Crosby (+20) Whitney (+13)
Crosby (10) Hall (8)
Dupuis (4)
Eberle (2)
Fleury (36-20-5)
Dubnyk (12-13-8)
Johnson (2.17) Dubnyk (2.71)
Johnson (.922) Dubnyk (.916)

F Ben Eager, concussion (day-to-day)
F Sam Gagner, ankle (week-to-week)
D Ladislav Smid, shoulder (day-to-day)
D Ryan Whitney, ankle (day-to-day)





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Adams Returns to His Roots 
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Endgame: Penguins 4, Canucks 3 (SO)
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Author: Michelle Crechiolo
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