Kunitz out for at least two weeks

 

Head coach Dan Bylsma announced following the Penguins morning skate that winger Chris Kunitz will be sidelined for at least two weeks with what is being described as a lower body injury. Kunitz will be replaced in the lineup by forward Mark Letestu who will center Eric Godard and Michael Rupp on the 4th line. Letestu will make his NHL debut and is also expected to get some power play time. *Evgeni Malkin will return to the lineup against the Bruins tonight. Malkin play wing on a line with Ruslan Fedotenko and Sidney Crosby.

Staal to center Bourque and Fedotenko

 

Pittsburgh Penguins (10-2-0) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (6-5-0) After a 5-1 start, the Columbus Blue Jackers have lost 4 of 5 games and head coach Ken Hitchcock rested his players on Thursday as the team did not practice. Rick Nash leads the Blue Jackets with 15 points but goaltender Steve Mason is off to a sub-par start. Mason is 5-4 with a 3.57 goals against average and has lost 3 out of his last 4 starts. Mason gave up four goals on 23 shots in the Blue Jackets loss to the Coyotes Wednesday night and will start tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blue Jackets will catch a break tonight with Evgeni Malkin and Tyler Kennedy sidelined. This will lead to an increased role for center Jordan Staal. The Penguins just concluded their morning skate and Jordan Staal will move up to the second line and center Chris Bourque andRead More »

Crosby’s hat trick powers Penguins to 6-1 win

 

Sidney Crosby scored three goals and linemate Chris Kunitz added a goal and three assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins (10-2-0) defeated the Montreal Canadiens (6-6-0) 6-1 Wednesday night at Mellon Arena. Pittsburgh’s top line of Crosby (3 pts), Kunitz (4 pts) and Bill Guerin (3 pts) combined for 10 points on the night and goaltender Marc Andre made 23 saves to earn his 9th win of the season. Crosby’s three goal night was his third career hat trick and the former hart trophy winner now has 24 goals in his last 36 games, dating back to last years playoffs. Crosby is currently fourth in the league with nine goals and last season, Crosby ninth goal didn’t come until November 28th. The Penguins rebounded from a loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night to become the first team to 10 victories.

Penguins complete 4-0 road trip; beat Canes 3-2 in a shootout

 

Penguins beat Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout So much for a Stanley Cup hangover in Pittsburgh. The defending Stanley Cup Champions completed a perfect 4-0 road trip beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday night at the RBC Center. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Michael Rupp (1) and Evgeni Malkin (3) but Hurricanes winger Ray Whitney scored twice in the third period to force over-time. After a scoreless overtime, the shootout went 6 rounds and became a battle between star goaltenders Marc Andre Fleury and Cam Ward. Marc Andre Fleury came out on top as Chris Kunitz who was the Penguins 6th shooter netted the shooutout winner with a wrist shot 13 feet out to beat Cam Ward. Ward though was phenomenal in net making 36 saves including a game changing glove save in the third period, robbing Bill Guerin who had aRead More »

Penguins storm back; beat Blue Jackets 5-4 in OT

 

Fielding a lineup that was a mix of regulars, prospects and border line veterans, it was no surprise that Pittsburgh got off to a sluggish start in their pre-season opener. Behind strong goaltending from Mathieu Garon (21 saves), the Blue Jackets jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two periods on goals from Jakub Voracek’s (first-period) and two late second-period goals by Maxim Mayorov Pittsburgh which led the NHL in third period comebacks last year, mounted another one Tuesday night.

Caputi will be pushed by incoming talent

 

Pittsburgh wants to see Caputi dominate With Max Talbot likely sidelined until mid-November, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding winger Luca Caputi pushing for a roster spot out of camp Caputi, who is one of the Penguins top 4 prospects, had 18 goals in 66 games played for Wilkes Barre/Scranton last season, the Penguins American Hockey League affiliate. Solid numbers for a player going through his first professional season but not exactly dominating numbers. The growing consensus in the organization is that Caputi needs to start in the season in Wilkes Barre. The Talbot injury won’t rush Caputi’s timetable to the National Hockey League, sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports. What Pittsburgh wants to see from Caputi is for him to have a strong training camp and dominate at the AHL level for the first couple months of the season, before being called up. They are hopeful that heRead More »

Inside the Numbers: Committed Salaries for the 2009-2010 Season

 

With less than 48 hours until NHL free agency begins, Ray Shero is sticking to his plan in trying to keep his championship team in tact by inking Bill Guerin and Craig Adams to new deals. With more holes to fill, Penguins General Manager Ray Shero has his work cut out for him with the limited cap space the Penguins have available. A breakdown on committed salaries for the 2009-2010 season and the latest buzz surrounding the Penguins impending free agents. Updated Penguins Free Agency Chart Centers 1. Sidney Crosby – Cap hit $8.7 million (Signed Through 2012-2013 season) 2. Evgeni Malkin – Cap Hit $8.7 million (Signed Through 2013-2014 season) 3. Jordan Staal – Cap Hit $4 million ( Signed Through 2012-2013 season) 4. Craig Adams – Cap Hit – $550,000 (Signed Through 2010-2011 season) Total Cap Hit – $21.95 million Waiting in the Wings: Dustin Jeffrey (21 yearsRead More »

Physical play, strong performances from key role players, fuels 4-2 win

 

Post-Game Notebook Pittsburgh showed the hockey world Tuesday night that they will not go down lightly, winning a pivotal game 3 and cutting the Red Wings series lead in half. The 2009 Stanley Cup Finals are following the same trend of the 08 finals when Detroit won both games in Detroit, then lost game 3 in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is hopeful game 4 doesn’t follow the trend from last years finals. What the Penguins have now is confidence that they can beat the Red Wings. Even after losing both games in Detroit, the Penguins remained confident heading into game 3 but there was this vibe that it didn’t matter how well they played, Detroit would find a way to win. Pittsburgh gets strong performances from key role players Pittsburgh got strong contributions from key players such as Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar, Marc Andre Fleury but it was the performance of theirRead More »

Game 7 Notebook: Penguins look for more production from Chris Kunitz

 

Game 7 Notebook As the Capitals forced a game 7, a lot of discussion has turned to goaltender Marc Andre Fleury who only stopped 19 of 24 shots in game 6 and for the most part has been outplayed by rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov. While Fleury needs to perform better for the Penguins to advance to their second consecutive Eastern Conference Finals, making him the scapegoat is absurd. Fleury’s a easy target from fans and the media as he plays the most important position on the ice and some of the criticism has been warranted but not all of it. The Penguins gave Fleury a 7 year deal worth $35 million this past summer for situations like this and Fleury will play in his first career game 7, Wednesday night. These are the kind of moments where goaltenders make the jump to the next level. Kunitz has 1 goal inRead More »