With only two games remaining in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ regular-season schedule – one tonight in Toronto and the other on Sunday against the Rangers – executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford announced that the team would be recalling forward Kevin Porter and goalie Tristan Jarry from the AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton organization. The move is an effort to sit a few important guys and give them a much-needed rest for their upcoming post-season tilt.
Coach Sullivan: "Lineup changes will be a game-time decision. We do intend on resting some guys... Maatta and Malkin will not play tonight."— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 8, 2017
For those of you that don’t recall, 31-year-old Porter was a big contributor for the Penguins’ success in being crowned Stanley Cup champions last year. In 41 of the team’s regular season games, the 5’11” center logged major minutes on the penalty kill. Even though Porter couldn’t finish out due to a season-ending ankle surgery, he still managed to get his name etched on the storied Stanley Cup trophy.
The former Hobey Baker Award winner for the Michigan Wolverines is a stand-out player for WBS. He’s the second-most ranked (tied) scorer in on the team with 46 points (11 goals, 35 helpers) in 67 games. The center notched three goals on the power play and two shorthanded. He’ll fill an open spot well.
At only 21 years of age, Jarry stands at 6’2”, 195 pounds, and is one of the main reasons the Baby Pens locked up their 15th straight post-season berth. He boasts a record of 28-15-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage for WBS. With Marc-Andre Fleury seen taking reps against the top power play unit in morning skate, Jarry will probably be Head Coach Mike Sullivan’s second guy off the bench and not make his first NHL start. Fleury is likely getting the nod tonight against the Leafs.
When asked about his plans regarding who he’d be resting, Sullivan was, as expected, pretty vague, though Evgeni Malkin, Olli Maatta, and Chad Ruhwedel were absent from morning skate. What he did divulge was that Sidney Crosby will definitely be in the lineup tonight. Something tells me that might have to do with the superstar center’s run to 50 goals. Plus, even if Sullivan pitched the idea of having Crosby sit, he more than likely declined the offer.
Pittsburgh faces off against the playoff-hungry Maple Leafs at 7 p.m.