— The Penguins dropped their 3rd straight game as Patrick Marleau scored with 4 seconds left in overtime, leading San Jose to a 3-2 OT win on Wednesday night at the Consol Energy Center.
The Sharks have won five straight and are 14-2-1 in their last 17 games and surging in the Western Conference after a slow start.
Pittsburgh which has now lost 7 of 9, grinded out another valuable point as Tyler Kennedy sent the game to overtime, tying the game at 2-2 with 50 seconds remaining in the third period
With the loss, Pittsburgh is 36-20-5, 78pts on the season and hold a four point lead over the Washington Capitals for the no. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
— The big news of the game for Pittsburgh was suffering yet another injury, this time to their best defenseman in Brooks Orpik.
In the first period, Orpik took a shot to his right hand and did not return to the game. Head coach Dan Bylsma had no update on Orpik’s status after the game and said the team will have a better idea tomorrow on how significant the injury is.
A long-term injury to Orpik would be absolutely devastating to the Penguins.
— Tyler Kennedy netted goals 13 and 14 on the season and has 7 goals in his last 11 games. Bylsma during his media session noted one change in Kennedy’s game and said that Kennedy is getting to the “blue paint, ” compared to the past where he was accustomed to play from the outside way too often.
Kennedy has been one of the few bright spots offensively for the Penguins, who have now gone 15 games since scoring four or more goals in regulation.
— San Jose wore Pittsburgh down by pressuring the Penguins defensemen, which appeared to be the Sharks strategy, especially when Brooks Orpik went down. Pittsburgh had to rely heavily on their defenseman as Kris Letang had 31:21 of ice time and and Zbynek Michalek had 30:54 TOI.
— James Neal made his Penguins debut along with Matt Niskanen. Neal was pointless in 20:48 of ice time. He has 2 shots on goal and was a +1. Neal didn’t seem to have his legs at times and hinted at that following the game.
Matt Niskanen logged 19:33 of ice time and had 3 blocked shots. Bylsma spoke highly of Niskanen after the game on how he played tonight. He’s a player the Penguins are expecting an adjustment period from.
— Joe Vitale is a player I continue to hear good things about from those inside the organization. He was 100% in the faceoff circle, going 8-for-8 on draws.
— As the Penguins actively look to bring in at least one more scoring forward, it was no surprise that the team had scouts in attendance for tonight’s Senators – Panthers game in Ottawa. It was the 6th time in FLA’s last 8 games, that the Penguins have had a scout in attendance.
— The Penguins next home game won’t be until March 8th. The team begins a 5 game road trip Friday night in Carolina.