Boasting the league’s best record at 11-3, the Pittsburgh Penguins ended October on a sour note, losing to the Minnesota Wild 2-1, Saturday night at Mellon Arena.
Pittsburgh outshot the Wild 35-15 and their top line of Sidney Crosby, Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz combined for 14 shots and dictated the play in the offensive zone most of the night.
Crosby was also assessed his third career fighting major in the second period when he dropped the gloves with Marek Zidlicky. Crosby delivered a number of hard rights.
Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom made 34 saves as the Wild earned their first road win of the season.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said it best following the game, “it’s weird how hockey works sometimes,” after the Penguins won a game Friday night when they were outplayed for the first 40 minutes, then played a complete game the following night and were unable to get the “W”.
The Penguins now begin a four game road trip, that includes a three game west coast swing, starting Tuesday night against Anaheim.
Around the Rink: Trade Talk
One player in the organization that is starting to draw interest around the league
is winger Ryan Bayda. Carolina has inquired about re-acquiring Bayda and Minnesota has been scouting Wilkes Barre over the past two weeks with their interest believed to be on Bayda.
After a slow start Bayda is playing very well and has 5 goals and 1 assist in eight games played.
Pittsburgh is looking for a draft pick in return. They won’t give Bayda away for nothing but keep an eye on Carolina.
On the Injury Front
*Evgeni Malkin may travel with the Penguins on their West Coast road trip. Malkin will be re-evaluated by Dr. Charles Burke next Monday and barring a setback, the Penguins expect Malkin to return against the New Jersey Devils on November 12th.
*Indications are Tyler Kennedy is progressing from a lower body injury. Kennedy will also travel with the team and is hopeful to play by the end of the week.
Letang contract talks still on hold
Pittsburgh nor Kris Letang are in any hurry to move forward on a contract extension. There are no planned talks upcoming and the two sides aren’t expected to engage in any talks until closer to the new year.