Malkin, Fedotenko end scoring droughts
Pittsburgh’s struggling power play went 0-for-5 in regulation Saturday night but delivered with a rare big goal in overtime as Evgeni Malkin (9) scored just 37 seconds into over-time on the man advantage as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 at Mellon Arena.
Thirty seconds into overtime, Jordan Leopold was called for holding and Sergei Gonchar set up Malkin for a one-timer from the high slot who blew it past Tomas Voukon.
Malkin’s OT tally was his first goal in 6 games. Pascal Dupuis (9) and Ruslan Fedotenko (5) also scored for Pittsburgh.
Fedotenko put the Penguins up 2-1 in the second period, driving to the net and Evgeni Malkin found him wide open in front of Voukon for a tap in goal.
It was Fedotenko’s first goal in 14 games as the struggling winger is on pace for a 12 goal season. The goal was a relief for Fedotenko who despite his struggles is in no danger of being taken off the second line in the short-term.
Four of the Panthers past six games have gone past regulation (1-0-3), and the Panthers continue to struggle to win close games. This is already the third one goal loss to the defending Stanley Cup champions this season.
Until Florida learns to win close, their going to remain on the outside of the playoff picture. It’s been frustrating for head coach Peter DeBoer who was very proud of his teams effort.
“I was really proud of our effort, ” DeBoer said. “We had to dig deep with twenty minutes to go to find a way to get into overtime and we did that. We didn’t win but it was a gritty effort.”
The Penguins do not practice today and return to the ice Monday morning as the team prepares for a home and home series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers (14-15-1) are in last place in the Atlantic Division and are 2-8 in their last 10 games.
2010 Olympics: Team USA Buzz
Whitney, Scuderi out; Orpik, Malone in?
Although Team USA will not announce their 23 man roster until January 1st, Team USA members will conduct their final meetings this week at the Board of Governor meetings and GM Brian Burke is expected to finalize his 23 man roster by next week.
Three former Penguins and one current Penguin were invited to Team USA’s orientation camp; Defensemen Ryan Whitney, Rob Scuderi, Brooks Orpik and winger Ryan Malone.
An NHL executive told me Team USA’s group of top 6 defensemen have already been picked for months and it’s believed Brooks Orpik was not among them.
However, there hasn’t been a scout or executive around the league that I’ve been in contact with who says Orpik won’t be on the team.
Orpik is believed to be a lock as Team USA’s 7th or 8th defenseman and will push for playing time. The same cannot be said for Orpik’s former teammates, Ryan Whitney and Rob Scuderi.
The growing consensus around the league is that Scuderi is not under any consideration to make the team.
Coming into the final evaluation weeks, Ryan Whitney (18 pts) is believed to be on the bubble. Whitney has been heavily scouts of late as there continues to be mixed opinions on Whitney among Team USA evaluators. He’s one of those players whose expected to be among one of the final selections or one of the last cuts.
Meanwhile, Ryan Malone is a lock to make the team. Malone was already believed to be a lock before the season and he sealed his fate with a breakout season thus far. Malone is second on the Lightning with 16 goals.