National Hockey League

Metropolitan Division Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins enter 2019-20 with their sights set on returning to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 14th consecutive season. They currently hold the NHL’s longest active streak ahead of the Capitals and Predators (5 each; 2014-15—2018-19).

* Captain Sidney Crosby has registered 6-7—13 in 12 season-opening contests, trailing only teammate Evgeni Malkin (4-10—14 in 12 GP), Kevin Stevens (6-8—14 in 7 GP), Jaromir Jagr (3-13—16 in 11 GP) and Mario Lemieux (6-14—20 in 14 GP) for the most points in Penguins season openers. Crosby also is one goal shy of tying Rick Kehoe (7-3—10 in 9 GP) for the most goals by a Penguins player in season-opening contests.

* Malkin has multiple points in each of his last three season-opening games (2-5—7); Joe Pavelski is the only NHL player with a longer active run of multi-point showing in season openers (2-6—8 in 4 GP).

* After reaching the 100-point mark for the sixth time in his career, Sidney Crosby (446-770—1,216 in 943 GP) needs 90 points in 2019-20 to move from 44th place and surpass Jarome Iginla (625-675—1,300 in 1,554 GP) for sole possession of 34th place in NHL history.

* Evgeni Malkin is averaging 1.18 points-per-game since making his NHL debut in 2005-06, second in the NHL during that span (min. 400 GP) behind Crosby (1.29 P/GP). Should the 33-year-old continue at that pace until his 900th NHL game (852 GP), he would be 19th player in League history to have a 1.18 points-per-game rate or better when hitting that milestone.

* Malkin (391) also needs nine goals to become the fourth player to score 400 goals with the franchise, following Lemieux (690), Crosby (446) and Jagr (439).

* Jake Guentzel led Pittsburgh with a career-high 40 goals last season and finished third in team scoring. He can become the first Penguins player to score at least 40 goals in consecutive seasons since Jagr from 1998-99 to 2000-01.

* Samuel Poulin (No. 21 in 2019) was the first player selected by the Penguins in the first round of the NHL Draft since 2014 when they took forward Kasperi Kapanen with the No. 22 pick. Poulin (29-47—76 in 67 GP) led the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in scoring in 2018-19, finishing 17 points above his next highest-scoring teammate. His eight goals and 14 points through 10 playoffs games also paced the club.

* Matt Murray owns a career record of 97-42-14 in 161 regular-season appearances (2.62 GAA, .917 SV% and 10 SO) and is on pace to break Marc-Andre Fleury’s franchise mark (219) GP) for fewest contests to record his 100th NHL win (all w/ PIT). In fact, Murray can become the 14th netminder in NHL history to require fewer than 170 games to reach 100 NHL wins – and first since Chris Osgood (158 GP w/ DET).

A look at how players have fared historically in their debut game/season with the franchise:

First game with Penguins. . .
Most goals: 2 – 4 players; most recent: Jake Guentzel (Nov. 21, 2016)
Most assists: 3 – Paul Coffey (Nov. 25, 1987)
Most points: 3 – 3; most recent: Dick Tarnstrom (Oct. 12, 2002)

Most goals: 1 – 13 players; most recent: Mark Streit (March 3, 2017)
Most assists: 3 – Paul Coffey (Nov. 25, 1987)
Most points: 3 – 3 players; most recent: Dick Tarnstrom (Oct. 12, 2002)

Most saves: 46 – Marc-Andre Fleury (Oct. 10, 2003)
Shutout: none

First season with Penguins. . .
Most goals: 45 – Petr Nedved (1995-96)
Most assists: 63 – Sidney Crosby (2005-06)
Most points: 102 – Sidney Crosby (2005-06)

Most goals: 15 – Kevin Hatcher (1996-97) and Paul Coffey (1987-88)
Most assists: 55 – Sergei Zubov (1995-96)
Most points: 67 – Paul Coffey (1987-88)

Most wins: 25 – Michel Dion (1981-82)
Most Shutouts: 6 – Les Brinkley (1967-68)

— NHL Public Relations

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