Toronto (13-17-9) @ Pittsburgh (26-11-1) Morning Skate Update: Defenseman Mark Eaton (right knee) participated fully in today’s morning skate. Eaton, Kris Letang and Martin Skoula alternated as a pairing. Eaton will return to the lineup sometime this week likely Wednesday night against New Jersey. Pittsburgh will wear their third jerseys tonight as today marks the 9 year anniversary of Mario Lemieux’s comeback. * Enforcer Eric Godard has been informed that he will return to the lineup against Toronto. Max Talbot is expected to be a healthy scratch. ******Game 39 Preview******** By James Conley
SouthPointe_ The Pittsburgh Penguins returned to the ice tonight after a two day break. Unlike other professional sports, the NHL shuts down on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some players stayed in Pittsburgh while others went back home like Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh got back to work just after 6:00 p.m., going through a hard 65 minute skate. All players were accounted for, including defenseman Mark Eaton (right knee). Eaton participated fully after missing the past two games with a right knee injury. Eaton suffered a right knee injury against Buffalo (12/19/09) and the Penguins decided to shut him down until after Christmas. He will be evaluated by team doctors prior to Sunday’s morning skate. He is regarded as questionable for tomorrow’s game. In other injury news, winger Chris Kunitz was bothered by a nagging knee injury Wednesday night, which limited his ice time against Ottawa in the third period.
Martin Brodeur broke Terry Sawchuk’s 40-year-old shutout record with his 104th career shutout Monday night as the New Jersey Devils (26-8-1) blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 for their third straight win against Pittsburgh this season. While Brodeur continues to entrench himself as arguably the greatest goaltender in the history of the game, the defending champs were over-matched against New Jersey for the third time this season. It has reached the point of concern as the Devils have quickly proved they are among the league’s best teams. The Devils transition game gave Pittsburgh fits Monday night just like it did in the two previous contests. New Jersey not Pittsburgh set the tone in the game and that’s been a common scene in all three games to this point. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma has not found a way for the Penguins to combat the Devils tight defensive game in the neutralRead More »
New Jersey (25-8-1-51 pts) @ Pittsburgh (25-10-1-51 pts) Morning Skate: Pittsburgh Penguins Defenseman Mark Eaton will not play tonight after suffering a right knee injury in Saturday’s win. Eaton was evaluated by team doctors on Sunday and did not participate in the Penguins morning skate. There has been some concern regarding the extent of the injury as Eaton was slated to be evaluated again today. However, the injury is not being described as a long-term injury at this point. Defenseman Martin Skoula will return to the lineup. Pre-Game Buzz: Devils @ Penguins preview
Since the 2006-2007 season including playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins are 23-10 against the Philadelphia Flyers. Pittsburgh moved to 3-0 against Philadelphia this season after Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout win at the Wachovia Center. The Flyers are free falling, currently in last place in the Atlantic Division as Pittsburgh is an astounding 17 pts ahead of Philadelphia in the standings. With the Christmas Trade Freeze starting tomorrow, Philadelphia is working the phones trying to put some deals in place after December 27th. As expected there were 10+ scouts in attendance for last night’s game. *Sidney Crosby has gone from an average goal scorer at best to an elite goal scorer in less than a year. I’ve never seen him get the kind of velocity he had on his second period goal against Philadelphia last night. Crosby is second in the league in goals with 22. *Scouts tell me Chris Kunitz hasRead More »
Penguins have won 8 of 10 Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist and Bill Guerin added a power play goal in the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 Thursday night at Mellon Arena. The Avalanche in the midst of back-to-back games, played a tight defensive game but Pittsburgh took over in the third period out shooting the Avalanche 14-1 in the period. Pittsburgh added an empty net goal by Jodan Staal (7) at 19:11 of the third period and Sidney Crosby added another 18 seconds later as the Penguins prevailed 4-1. Crosby’s three point night gives him 11 points in his last three games. Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury made 15 saves to record his 17th win of the season. Post-Game Wrap up *The Colorado Avalanche like to play a tight defensive game in the neutral zone similar to the Phoenix Coyotes and lookRead More »
Sidney Crosby’s dominance against the Montreal Canadiens continued Wednesday night. Crosby scored a goal and set up another with an highlight reel no-look pass, setting up a Sergei Gonchar goal as the Penguins defeated Montreal 3-1 at Mellon Arena in what will be the final regular season game that the Canadiens will play at Mellon Arena. Despite being hit with a number of injuries in the first two months of the season, Pittsburgh matched a franchise record for 17 victories in their first 25 games. The Canadiens have brought out the best in Crosby as the star center has four goals and an assist in two games against Montreal this season. Crosby has nine points in his last seven games after being held pointless in five games, while his sidekick Evgeni Malkin was sidelined with a shoulder injury for seven games. Since returning to the lineup on November 14th, MalkinRead More »
Post-Atlanta Thoughts Pittsburgh rebounded after their embarrassing performance Thursday night like championship teams do; winning their next game. Martin Skoula scored two goals and Marc Andre Fleury made 31 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 3-2 to snap a four game road losing streak. Head coach Dan Bylsma made the right move going back to Marc Andre Fleury who was chased from the net against the Senators. Fleury had great rebound control tonight and clearly has put Thursday nights performance behind. The signing of Martin Skoula is paying dividends for the Penguins but it can’t be overlooked that Skoula is reviving his career in Pittsburgh.
Bayda, others not happy? The waiver claim of winger Chris Bourque has had a ripple effect in the Penguins organization. Veterans like Ryan Bayda are not happy about it. There was not an issue in the organization with the signing of Martin Skoula. The signing caused some heart ache for a player like Nate Guenin but Skoula has paid his dues and is respected by those who were bypassed by him. The same can not be said for Chris Bourque. Bringing in an un-proven 23 year old forward who was bypassed by 29 other teams has not sat well with veterans in the organization. Bourque has been a scratch for four of Pittsburgh five games and will be scratched again tonight against Ottawa. With Max Talbot returning to the lineup in 6-8 weeks, Bourque will not have a regular spot in the lineup unless Penguins General Manager moves a coupleRead More »
The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with veteran defenseman Martin Skoula. The deal is a one year contract worth close to $600,000 and a one-way contract. Pittsburgh has shown an interest in Skoula since mid-August and he was their top free agent target behind Philippe Boucher for the teams No. 7 defenseman spot. Skoula was recently on a professional tryout with the Columbus Blue Jackets. *Forward Ryan Bayda who did not practice this morning was placed on waivers today at 12:00 p.m, along with four others. The Penguins will begin the season with 21 players on their roster. Max Talbot, Mark Letestu and Ben Lovejoy will begin the season on injured reserved. Skoula has been informed by the Penguins front office that he will