Saturday’s Quick Hits: Pens Rumors & Tidbits on Martin, Johnson, Thiessen


Some Saturday night Pens tidbits: — According to a league source, defenseman Paul Martin has recovered “well” from a concussion he suffered in Game 3 of the Penguins first round series with the Flyers. I’m told Martin likely would have been cleared to play at somepoint in the second round. “Paul is fine, ” the source said. Martin is believed to have no restrictions when it comes to his off-season regiment. — The Penguins have yet to inform backup goaltender Brent Johnson or his reps at CAA Sports that the team won’t be bringing back the 35 year old netminder.

Morning Pens Buzz: On Breakdowns vs Sens; Turnaround starts with committment to defense; Scouts take on Pens “finesse” role players


Morning Pens Buzz It was a meltdown for the Penguins Tuesday night, falling to the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on home ice, dropping their 5th straight game. The team was lifeless when it counted and by the time they showed some life after Evgeni Malkin’s second period goal, it was to late. The Penguins have scored six goals in their last five games and anyone can see that number and realize you’re not going to win hockey games with those type of numbers. The high percentage shots are still missing and they were again vs Ottawa. Injuries can be attributed to the Penguins struggles offensively but this is still a team that has Evgeni Malkin and four former 20-goal scorers aside from Malkin in their lineup in James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy and Steve Sullivan, and former 15+ goal scorers in the likes of Pascal Dupuis. This isn’t the 2003-2004 PenguinsRead More »

Pens – Panthers Game Day Buzz: Good opportunity to start Johnson in goal


Penguins (45-25-8, 98 pts) @ Panthers (29-37-12, 70 pts) Despite losing two straight games, the Philadelphia Flyers remain in striking distance for the Pittsburgh Penguins. A longshot to say the least but Pittsburgh only trails Philadelphia by four points and each team has 4 games remaining. The Penguins have a favorable schedule the rest of the way with games against non-playoff teams Florida, New Jersey, New York Islanders and the Atlanta Thrashers. However, the Penguins worries is not catching Philadelphia but holding off the Tampa Bay Lightning for the No.4 seed in the East. In reality the division title is not that important but what’s important is for the Penguins to gain some momentum going into the playoffs. Right now they have none. — Tonight against the Florida Panthers is a good opportunity for Brent Johnson (11-5-3) to get the start in goal. Johnson is 5-1 in his last 6Read More »

Game 57: Sabres @ Penguins Scouting Report; Fleury to start in goal


Game 57 Buffalo Sabres — 32-14-7 (71 points) 1st Northeast at Pittsburgh Penguins — 34-21-1 (69 points) 2nd Atlantic Playoff Preview? Buffalo is in first place in the Northeast division and Pittsburgh appears to be firmly planted in playoff position with less than 30 games left. Tonight’s game is a matchup of teams who may be squaring off again this spring. Season Series Ryan Miller has been nothing short of Vezina-worthy this year, but it’s backup and former Penguin Patrick Lalime who continues to give Pittsburgh fits. December 19, 2009. HSBC Arena Pens Win, 2-1 Goals: Kunitz, Letang (SO) December 29, 2009. HSBC Arena Penguins lose, 4-3 Goals: Staal, Guerin, Kunitz Play With a Vengeance The last time these teams met, Pittsburgh jumped Ryan Miller to the tune of three straight goals, chasing him from the goal and bringing in veteran Patrick Lalime in relief. Lalime stymied the Pens fromRead More »

Off-Day Report: Penguins prepare for the surging Islanders


The Pittsburgh Penguins (30-19-1) returned to the ice this morning as the team prepares for a two game homestand that begins Tuesday night. First up for Pittsburgh will be the surging New York Islanders (22-19-8) who won for the fourth straight time this afternoon beating the New Jersey Devils 4-0, behind a 20 save shutout performance from goaltender Rick DiPietro. Former Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick Matt Moulson added goals 18, 19 for the Islanders in their 4-0 win. With Dipietro playing today, he will not play tomorrow night against Pittsburgh and neither will Marc Andre Fleury (fractured finger). A rundown on latest Penguins injury news * As reported earlier, Fleury was limited today, wearing a skaters glove for protection instead of his regular mit. Fleury will not be available to play for at least the next two games.

12/28 – Monday Practice Report: Rupp skates with Crosby, Dupuis on top unit


Pittsburgh_ The Pittsburgh Penguins went through a 70 minute workout this morning before departing for Buffalo as the Penguins hit the road for a four game road trip that includes back-to-back games against the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. Defenseman Alex Goligoski and forward Chris Kunitz did not practice today. Kunitz remains bothered by a nagging knee injury, while Goligoski has a bad back. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma did indicate he expects both players to participate in Tuesday’s morning skate at Buffalo. Eaton to return to lineup Tuesday night *Defenseman Mark Eaton participated fully in practice today for the 3rd consecutive day. Eaton was paired with Kris Letang in practice and will return to the lineup against Buffalo after missing three games with a right knee injury. *Over the past week, Dan Bylsma has been experimenting with line changes on his top two lines and today in practiceRead More »

Post-Game Wrapup: Penguins fall to Islanders 3-2


The New York Islanders in the playoff hunt near the end of the November? That hasn’t been the case too often for the struggling franchise this decade but the Islanders continue to be a tough out and improved their record to 10-9-7, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Friday afternoon. New York overcame a 2-1 third period deficit, as Sean Bergenheim tied the game, a 1:24 into the period and rookie sensation John Tavares scored on a rebound with 6:12 left in the third period to lift the Islanders to a 3-2 win. Although the Penguins held a 2-1 lead after the second period, the Islanders controlled the play, out-shooting the Penguins 37-21. Pittsburgh was flat for most of the afternoon but managed to jump out to a 2-1 lead going into the third period after two blunders from Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson (19 saves) who gave up suspect goals toRead More »

Can Johnson turn back the clock one more time?


By Paul Ladewski The Pittsburgh Penguins signed back-up goaltender Brent Johnson to a one-year contract worth close to $530,000 today. It remains to be seen how this will turn out, but if the 32-year-old veteran can turn back the clock for even a few games, then the Penguins have got themselves a steal. It was Johnson who dropped jaws in the first round of the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs. I know, because mine was one of the ones that had to be picked up off the dressing room floor after the St. Louis Blues netminder shut out the Chicago Blackhawks in not one, not two but three consecutive games, In his first season as a starter. At a $550,000 salary, Johnson did the impossible — turned Frank McCool into a household name. Fifty-seven years earlier, the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender had been the last goalie to pitch three shutouts inRead More »