Evgeni Malkin tonight had an goal and assist to lead the Penguins to a 3-2 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Penguins also got goals from Petr Sykora and Ruslan Fedotenko. Prior to the game the Penguins were dealt a serious blow when General Manager Ray Shero announced Sergei Gonchar the team‚Äôs #1 defenseman will be out indefinitely with a separated shoulder. For Inside Analysis of tonight‚Äôs game read more
The Penguins started out tonight with the lines they had in the morning skate
Staal ‚Äì Malkin ‚Äì Sykora
Dupuis ‚Äì Taffe ‚Äì Satan
Fedotenko ‚Äì Talbot ‚Äì Cooke
Bissonnette ‚Äì Kennedy ‚Äì James
*Mid-Way through the second period Kennedy played with Satan and Dupuis
Orpik ‚Äì Letang
Gill ‚Äì Sydor
Eaton ‚Äì Goligoski
Power Play Unit 1
Satan ‚Äì Staal ‚Äì Sykora
Pointmen: Goligoski ‚Äì Malkin
Evgeni Malkin played the right point and looked much more comfortable. He was bringing the puck up with ease. I still thought Alex Goligoski was a bit tentative to shoot the puck on the power play. Pittsburgh likes him on the #1 unit better than Letang
The Penguins controlled the play tonight expect for a few breakdowns in the third. The Maple Leafs were overmatched. The score was much closer than it actually was.
Jordan Staal continues to get better every game. He looks very comfortable at wing
Petr Sykora has been on a tear in the preseason. Sykora has been very effective in the slot on the power play. Sykora is going to push Satan for top power play minutes. I think the Penguins need to move on an extension for Sykora. He has already expressed an interest in staying but the Penguins want to wait until mid-season.
Miroslav Satan struggled tonight. He just doesn‚Äôt have the speed to be a dominate one-on-one player anymore.
The Fedotenko ‚Äì Talbot ‚Äì Cooke line will be one of the best third lines in hockey. All three players play well off of each other and they bring a little bit of everything.
Going into the season the Penguins have upgraded their third line and Jordan Staal will make the second line better.
Tyler Kennedy performed well at center. He looked confused at times on neutral zone re-groups but he was able to use his speed in the open ice
Mark Eaton has looked slow since training camp opened but it doesn‚Äôt have the Penguins worried. They claim he is 100% but after seeing him in game action for the second time, I‚Äôm not so sure
Paul Bissonnette got in a fight near the end of 1st period with Jamal Mayers. I would give the edge to Bissonnette. He didn‚Äôt play that much because he was given a 10 minute game misconduct in the 2nd period but he played well and was effective on the fore-check. Bissonnette will be a fan favorite. If the Penguins decide to keep Bissonnette he will keep Eric Godard on the bench some nights
Kris Letang and Brooks Orpik were the Penguins top tandem tonight. Look for those two to start out the season together
When Rob Scuderi is ready to go, look for Michel Therrien to play musical chairs with his defenseman early in the season
What will the Penguins do now with Gonchar out indefinitely? Full analysis in the morning