Sidney Crosby looks to extend his season-opening seven-game point streak on Saturday afternoon as the surging Pittsburgh Penguins host the Vancouver Canucks. The captain collected a goal and an assist in the third period on Thursday as the Penguins recorded their second three-game winning streak of the campaign with a 4-1 triumph over Keystone State-rival Philadelphia. Crosby's 14 points (six goals, eight assists) are four more than Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin (one goal, nine assists), who is riding a modest three-game point streak.
If Crosby plans on increasing his point streak, Pittsburgh will need to solve Roberto Luongo. The veteran netminder turned aside 25 shots to notch his 63rd career shutout with a 3-0 win over struggling Buffalo on Thursday. Luongo likely will be opposed by fellow Canadian Olympic hopeful Marc-Andre Fleury, who is 6-0-0 with one shutout and a 1.67 goals-against average.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, NHLN, RSN Pacific (Vancouver), ROOT (Pittsburgh)
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (5-3-0): Chris Higgins has scored in both contests to open Vancouver's seven-game road trip. Brad Richardson netted his second of the team's three short-handed goals this season while defenseman Ryan Stanton netted his first career NHL tally against the Sabres - with both Henrik and Daniel Sedin lending a hand. The Canucks also will receive a boost with the return of defenseman Alex Edler, who has finished serving his three-game suspension for an illegal check on San Jose rookie Tomas Hertl.
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (6-1-0): Crosby isn't the only one enjoying a sizable point streak as Evgeni Malkin has pieced together an impressive five-game stretch. The former Hart Trophy recipient and scoring champion has collected three goals and four assists in that time, but he also scored in the shootout as Pittsburgh skated away with a 4-3 win over Vancouver in the teams' last meeting - the 2011-12 season opener. The Penguins have scored at least three goals in each game this campaign.
1. Vancouver has three short-handed goals as opposed to just two while on the power play this season.
2. Pittsburgh's Deryk Engelland, who is traditionally a defenseman, played on the team's fourth line Thursday against the Flyers.
3. The Canucks' mark after eight games represents their best start since the 2005-06 season.
PREDICTION: Penguins 3, Canucks 1