It wasn’t easy, it never is. Falling down 3-0 in the first period at home is never ideal but it is hardly a death sentence for this Penguins team. That was what they were faced with when the first period horn sounded Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Sabres. When the teams came out for the second period Marc-Andre Fleury replaced starter Matt Murray in goal and seemingly ignited the lackluster Penguins. Second period goals by Justin Schultz and Evgeni Malkin brought the Pens to within 3-2 after 40 minutes of play. As the final period played out the Pens kept coming at the Sabres but could not find a tying goal. Finally, Jake Guentzel redirected a shot past Anders Nilsson to tie the game at three a piece. Less than a minute later, Schultz fed a wide open Conor Sheary for a 4-3 lead and in the end a crucial victory before the long upcoming road trip. [Pensburgh]
Tuesday night the Pens will kick off their annual Western Canada road trip with a stop in Manitoba to take on the Winnipeg Jets. Game time is scheduled for 8:00 PM and will be broadcast on ROOT Sports.
With the Pens having the next two days off make sure to get some sleep because Winnipeg is just the first stop on a five game road trip that will send the Pens to Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary meaning late start times each night. The road trip will finally wrap up in Philadelphia but with a much more reasonable start time.
After being listed as day-to-day when he was first diagnosed with an injury it appeared Kris Letang would only be out of the lineup a short time. Now, almost two weeks later there seems to be some uncertainty amongst the Pens about what his status is at this time. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
With the laundry list of injuries on the blue line this season, it has some people wondering if opposing teams are targeting the Pens defensemen with more physical play then they would the average opponent? [Trib Live]
After being acquired at the trade deadline on Wednesday, Mark Streit suited up for his first game in a Pens uniform on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Streit had an immediate impact for his new team. [Penguins]
In 2003 the Pens drafted goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with the first overall selection. Fleury was the first piece in an eventual NHL powerhouse. Now the league’s newest franchise wants to make him the face of their team when they begin play next season. [Sportsnet]
Though the rumors were swirling about Fleury as the deadline approached the Pens held on to their insurance policy in net. Consider regular starter Matt Murray a fan of the decision. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
News and notes from around the league...
If you are unfamiliar, every season around this time Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy runs their “Death Watch” calculating when teams will be eliminated from playoff contention. It runs every day and is a fun way to keep track of the playoff race. [Puck Daddy]
Beginning Monday, NHL general managers will convene in Boca Raton, Florida for their annual meetings. The three day event has a loaded agenda including discussion of future bye weeks and Las Vegas trades. [ESPN]