Coming off a shootout loss on Saturday in their first road game of the season, the Penguins return to the friendly confines of PPG Paints Arena for a contest against the Western Conference Vancouver Canucks. This will be the last home game for the Penguins until Halloween as they embark on a four game road trip across Canada beginning Thursday night.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on AT&T Sports Network.
Catch up on a busy Monday with today’s Pens Points...
Following practice on Monday, the Penguins released the expected bad news surrounding defenseman Justin Schultz. After a nasty collision during Saturday’s contest, the blue liner will miss four months recovering from a left leg fracture. Schultz underwent successful surgery to repair the injury. [Pensburgh]
If there is any silver lining in the Schultz injury for the Penguins it is the timing. Rather suffer a serious injury in October than March, giving Schultz plenty of time to heal for the playoff run. In the meantime, general manager Jim Rutherford plans on filling the hole on the blue line from within rather than test the trade waters this early. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
With Schultz out of the lineup until at least mid-February, the Penguins will rely heavily on the other seven defenseman to pick up the slack. The summer addition of Jack Johnson looks bigger than ever with Schultz going down. Hopefully the veteran defenseman will exceed the expectations fans have for him. [Pensburgh]
Since coming to Pittsburgh, Schultz has had quite the career resurgence after a disastrous period with the Edmonton Oilers. A key part of the Penguins two Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017, the team will not have to adjust to life without one of their most important players on the back end. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
With Matt Murray healthy and back in the fold at goal, the Penguins reassigned Tristan Jarry to the AHL on Monday. In a corresponding move, the team recalled forward Derek Grant who was originally sent down to make room for Jarry. Grant played on game with the WBS squad, scoring a goal in the team’s 4-1 victory on Saturday. [Penguins]
For Murray, concussions have already plagued his young playing career and forced him out of the lineup on at least three different occasions at this point. This latest stint on the shelf is the shortest to date and he as well as the team are relieved at the quick turnaround. [Pittsburgh Hockey Now]
Elias Pettersson is an exciting young rookie who has the look of a future superstar in the NHL but he will miss this evening’s contest for the Canucks with a concussion. Concussions are something captain Sidney Crosby is all too familiar with and he sympathizes with the young goal scorer as he tries to get healthy. [Trib Live]
Derick Brassard has been a center for the majority of his NHL career to this point but the Penguins are going to try an experiment with the veteran. Brassard will be playing on the top line as Crosby’s left wing along with Jake Guentzel playing the right win role. Not a bad situation for a guy in a contract year. [Trib Live]
When you think about hockey your mind generally thinks of cold climates but that is not the case for a group of players from the country of Kenya. Hockey has become a passion of theirs in the East African nation but they have no team to play games against. Tim Hortons flew them to Canada to play a competitive game and even got a little help from Sidney Crosby and Nathan Mackinnon. [Pensburgh]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Vegas will have to fill a major hole in their lineup as newly acquired Paul Stastny will miss upwards of two months with a lower body injury. The Golden Knights forward picked up the injury in a game against the Buffalo Sabres last week. [Sporting News]
Patrice Bergeron, Morgan Rielly, and Sebastian Aho were names the NHL Three Stars of the Week for last week’s slate of games. Bergeron led all players with nine points last week, including his first career hat trick, as he helped the Bruins win all three of their games. [Sportsnet]
On Wednesday, Canada will officially begin selling legal marijuana across the country. This opens the question about how the NHL will handle the new law but the league and players union issued a statement that there will be no change to the drug testing program. The league does not punish for positive marijuana tests. [USA Today]
We mentioned above that Elias Pettersson will miss tonight’s game in Pittsburgh with a concussion. Pettersson sustained that concussion after being violently thrown to the ground by Mike Matheson of the Florida Panthers. On Monday, Matheson was suspended two games for his actions against Pettersson. [NBCSports]