A shot at redemption
Two weeks ago tonight was opening night for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it wasn't a memorable one. They were in Dallas and the Stars gave the Pens a lesson in the form of a 3-0 shutout. Antti Niemi was terrific in goal, stopping all 37 shots he faced and the Stars impressed with their team speed and ability to convert plays in transition.
Pittsburgh gets another crack at the Stars tonight from Consol, in the final matchup of the season. Dallas has looked like a legitimate playoff team early in the year, bringing a 5-1-0 record and 4 game winning streak into tonight's game. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are red-hot, both scoring 10 points in just the 6 games to open the season.
Injury updates: Fehr progressing
Eric Fehr, who has been out all season rehabbing a elbow injury is ramping up his practice workload, including some battle drills this morning at practice. NHL gameday skates are not very taxing or physical, but it's a nice step for Fehr in his process to make his Penguin debut.
Kevin Porter was injured in the Florida game Tuesday night and missed practice yesterday, but returned to the ice this morning. His status for tonight's game is unknown but it looks like there is a possibility he could play.
For visa issues, Daniel Sprong is back with the team after getting his work permits all in order. It seems likely that one of Porter/Sprong will play, which gives the Pens 12 forwards and would seem to suggest no call-up would be needed. If both Porter and Sprong can play, the team would have 13 healthy forwards and scratch one of those two or Bobby Farnham. Farnham did play opening night against the Stars and may be dressed regardless against a fast team.
Beau Bennett will not play tonight but according to coach Mike Johnston he has been skating on his own prior to the team coming out. Bennett's out with an unknown, unreleased cryptic injury.
Malkin's wingers need points
Interesting quote by Evgeni Malkin to reporters yesterday. "My focus is on [Patric Hornqvist] to start scoring because I see he's a little bit nervous right now," Malkin said. "I try to help him and help [David Perron], too. We're starting to play a little bit better, all three guys. I've had chances to score, but we're trying to score with three guys."
Amazing that those two have skated most the season (all of it in Hornqvist's case) with Malkin and have a combined 0 goals and 1 assist. With as well as Malkin's playing that's incredible.
Add Chris Kunitz 's 0 goal, 0 assist season to the mix and the Pens do have to start getting more from their highly paid wingers.