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Insider Only Pre-season Game 3: Post-Montreal Thoughts

Penguins fall to Canadiens 4-3
Sergei Gonchar, Bill Guerin and Evgeni Malkin each scored for the Penguins but it wasn’t enough.
Goals by Canadiens winger, Guillaume Latendresse, center Scott Gomez, a shorthanded goal, and two goals from right winger Brian Gionta prevailed the Canadiens to a 4-3 win.
John Curry started in net for the Penguins.
*In the battle for the No.7 defenseman spot, it remains Nate Guenin’s job to lose. Defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland were a pairing against Montreal and had mix results.
Lovejoy did some nice things offensively, setting up Evgeni Malkin’s second period goal. But, in the defensive zone, he was inconsistent along with Engelland. Both were over-matched for the most part.
Engelland and Lovejoy were on for two of Montreal’s goals. An Engelland turnover led to Brian Gionta’s second goal of the game which put the game in doubt.
Lovejoy has looked like a minor league player all pre-season.
*Winger Luca Caputi is not having the

type of camp that the Penguins wanted him to have. He’s under-achieved for the most part and has not warranted a roster spot.
Caputi started the game on Sidney Crosby’s line Monday but didn’t show much chemistry with Guerin or Crosby.
Caputi needs to get stronger on his skates and he will begin the season in Wilkes Barre.
Caputi’s a very young player but I’m just not sold on him being a top-6 winger down the road.
*Chris Kunitz played well with Evgeni Malkin. They have also looked good at times in practice too. Could be something the coaching will look too at some point in the season.
*2009 1st round pick Simon Despres is getting good reviews from scouts around the league. Despres will be sent back to juniors following the next round of cuts.
*With three games remaining, prospect Nick Johnson remains in the mix for a forward spot. Dan Bylsma is very high on him. For Johnson to make the team out of camp, indications are the Penguins will have to move a veteran forward.
*Players such as Dustin Jeffrey, Tim Wallace and Ryan Bayda have not distingquished themselves to this point I’m told.
Tuesday night will be Konstatin’s Pushkarev’s last shot to earn a contract.
*The Islanders have scouted two of Pittsburgh’s three pre-season games including last night.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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