On the Penguins: Electric Phil, Matt Murray, 1-Goal Games

 

Mr. 300 Back-to-Back 2-1 overtime wins for the Pittsburgh Penguins and back-to-game game winning overtime goals from Phil Kessel. Kessel scored a breakaway goal 1:07 into overtime to lift the Penguins to a 2-1 OT win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. Kessel’s OT winner was the 300th goal of his career, becoming the 19th American born player to hit 300 career goals. Along with Zach Parise (318 goals), Kessel is among two active American born players with 300 goals. Meanwhile, Kessel is the 7th American born player who has 300 career goals and has been a member of the Penguins organization at one point in their careers. Among the others: Joe Mullen (502 goals, 5th), Bill Guerin (429 goals, 7th), John LeClair (406 goals, 9th), Scott Young (342 Goals, tied 12th), Ed Olczyk (342 Goals, tied 12th), Kevin Stevens (329 Goals, 16th). Kevin Stevens is the highest AmericanRead More »

Penguins – Oilers Fallout: Lazer focused group had playoff feel

 

Penguins 2 – Oilers 1 (OT) A big reason the Penguins have won back-to-back Stanley Cups and why they’ll be right in the mix of things for a third straight Cup, is how this group can throw bad losses out the window. As the last two postseasons had shown, you can get the Penguins on their heels, take them to seven games, but beating Pittsburgh four out of seven times is a daunting task. This might not be as deep of a team in the bottom-6 as previous seasons, but it’s likely going to be a similar situation come April and May. We’re already seeing some glimpses of it this season of the Penguins ability to bounce back from very bad losses. Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Lightning had the coach calling the group a “flawed” team, the organization putting the backup netminder on waivers, and Pittsburgh came back inRead More »

Casey DeSmith the New No. 2 Goaltender + Latest on Antti Niemi

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled goaltender Casey DeSmith from Wilkes Barre/Scranton. DeSmith, 26, is joining an NHL roster for the first time in his career. He is 3-0-0 with an 0.98 GAA and .965 save percentage on the season. Last season DeSmith went 26-7-3 with a 1.92 GAA and .929 save percentage. Entrenched the new No. 2 goaltender for the short-term, DeSmith was the expected callup with management intending to stick with the initial plan of Tristan Jarry staying in minors, at least for most of the season. This week Pittsburgh plays four games over six nights with the next back-to-back on the weekend with Pittsburgh @ Minnesota on Saturday and @ Winnipeg on Sunday. The team placed Antti Niemi on waivers today with the expected outcome being that the two sides will mutually te Discussions, though, were still on-going as of 4:00 p.m. today between the two sides asRead More »

Pens await word from Niemi camp on whether he would report to WBS

 

Riley Sheahan to make Debut vs Oilers Newly acquire center Riley Sheahan will make his Penguin debut Tuesday night vs the Edmonton Oilers. Sheahan in Monday’s practice moved into Greg McKegg’s spot as the third line center, working between Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist. In Hagelin, Sheahan has a player on his wing with needed speed and the line should be an effective group on the forecheck. Sheahan is noted for being an instinctive fore-checker. What the line, though, might be lacking is a player who can create individual high danger scoring chances. Injury Buzz

Antti Niemi placed on waivers just 3 starts into tenure as a Penguin

 

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has seen enough of Antti Niemi (0-3, 7.49 GAA, .797 SV%). The Penguins today placed the 33 year old netminder on waivers. In three starts Niemi has allowed 16 goals in 128:08. While some may say Niemi has been a victim of circumstance, every game Niemi’s started has been in the second night of a back-to-back, lit up for 4 goals in just 9:16 against the Blackhawks on 10/5, allowing 5 goals on 34 shots against the Lightning on 10/12 and then the dagger was Saturday night in a 7-1 loss to the Lightning. However, a primary reason the Penguins patience had been running thin with Niemi is how he looks in games — is how he looks in practices. — The team has determined Niemi is just no longer an NHL caliber goaltender. Now what is the end game here? Niemi won’t be claimed onRead More »

Analysis: Penguins haven’t likely solved their bottom-6 center hole

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired center Riley Sheahan and a 2018 fifth round pick from the Detroit Red Wings in-exchange for winger Scott Wilson and a 2018 third round pick. Sheahan, 25, carries a $2.075 million cap hit. Sheahan has 0 points in eight games this season with just 5 shots on goal. He’s a big bodied center at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds with good defensive instincts but struggles to create his own offense. The 25 year old forward had 2 goals and 13 points in 80 games last season. He is a minus-29 over his last 88 regular season with just 2 goals during that span to show for. In his career Sheahan has 38 goals and 98 points in 292 games. Pittsburgh had gone back and forth for months on whether to push forward on a deal for Sheahan and two sides revived talks yesterday with the Red WingsRead More »

Penguins patiently laying groundwork in search for impact center

 

Penguins continue to eye an impact player to add to forward group Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is asked so much about the search for a third line center, his comments will vary from a week-to-week. One day Rutherford will make it seem like the Penguins are close to the deal, a few days later he will be quoted as saying he’s waiting for specific targets to be available. Where things truly stand is this:

Penguins – Panthers Player Grades: Crosby stars with impact game in the battle areas

 

Post-Game Player Reports Game 6, Sunday October 14, 2017 Penguins 4 – Panthers 3 Game Summary: Sidney Crosby scored 2 goals and Matt Murray made 43 saves to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2-1) to a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Patric Hornqvist (2) and Greg McKegg (1) also scored in the win. Florida outshot Pittsburgh 46-33, including 19-8 in the second period (Grade Scale: 0.00 – 5.0) Centers Sidney Crosby| Grade: 4.4 Crosby scored twice with both goals coming from in front of the net for his first multi-goal game of the season and was active offensively with 4 shots on goal and 6 attempts. Crosby has 10 shots on goal over his last two games. The 2 goal night (also had a goal disallowed) vs the Panthers gives Crosby 3 goals and 5 assists on the season as things are back to normal with him leading the teamRead More »