Montreal 4 – Pittsburgh 2
Despite a strong performance from Luca Caputi who opened the scoring 2:30 into the game, the Penguins gave up three unanswered goals and lost for the third straight game Tuesday night against the Monteal Canadiens.
Caputi appearing in his first NHL game scored in his first NHL shift. Caputi started the game on the fourth line with Bill Thomas and Eric Godard but was rewarded with minutes on the first power play unit and saw some ice time with the 2nd line.
Roman Hamrlik scored a 1st period goal for the Canadiens. Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre scored second-period goals and Andrei Kostitsyn scored with 4:15 left to seal the Canadiens 4-2 win. Goaltender Carey Price made 23 saves.
Evgeni Malkin (23) also scored for the Penguins. Marc Andre Fleury made 31 saves. The Penguins 24-23-5 remain in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins are chasing the (7) Buffalo Sabres 57 pts, (8) Florida Panthers 56, (9)Carolina Hurricanes 55 pts
I‚Äôm hearing Luca Caputi will remain in the lineup for tomorrow‚Äôs game. Tyler Kennedy will return after serving a one game suspension but Chris Minard is expected to be an healthy scratch if he isn‚Äôt re-assigned. The plan right now appears to be to keep Caputi with the big club until Ruslan Fedotenko returns next week. When the Fedotenko returns the Penguins will go from there. The Penguins have three games this week, ( Tampa Bay, Columbus, Detroit). The practice experience is also crucial for a young player like Caputi.
Ryan Whitney was a -4 Tuesday night and is a -12 since returning in late December. Whitney has absolutely no confidence right now and he needs to sit against the Lightning. There needs to be some accountability. Coming back from injury mid-season is very difficult to do and is a reason I haven‚Äôt been very hard on Whitney. The coaching staff mishandled Whitney‚Äôs playing time right off the bat, giving him 25+ minutes per game but right now he just needs to sit a game.
Head coach Michel Therrien is
back on the hot seat. Winning three out of five prior to the All-Star break cooled any talk about a coaching change but Wednesday’s game against the Lightning is a must win for the Penguins. The next four game stretch is crucial for Therrien‚Äôs survival. I didn‚Äôt think a coaching change was going to happen prior to the All-Star but now there is some serious talk going around.
Islanders interested in Pascal Dupuis according to sources. Penguins discussing moving a forward, defenseman (last year of contract) and third round pick for Bill Guerin. The Islanders had an scout in the building tonight.
It could not have been a better performance for Caputi. He showed very good speed which is his main weakness. Caputi excels around the net and once he adds some muscle he‚Äôs going to be a force in this league.
Alex Goligoski had an assist but was a -3
The Penguins are holding an optional skate at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.
More to come tomorrow.