The Penguins (7-6-3) look to get back in the win column against the Tampa Bay Lightning (12-5-1) following a tough loss to the Devils on Tuesday night. Puck drop is set for just after 7pm from PPG Paints Arena.
Since our game day dropped on Tuesday afternoon, a lot has changed. Let's try and recap it for you:
1.) The Penguins lost to the New Jersey Devils again, this time by a score of 4-2. They showed, once again, that playing a full 60 minute game is a challenge. They've struggled to play a consistent game all season and Tuesday night was no exception. Prior to the Penguin's 4-0 win over the Coyotes Saturday, Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford hinted that changes were coming if the struggles continued. The struggles continued and that game sealed it.
2.) Speaking of General Manager Jim Rutherford, yesterday morning the Penguins announced that Rutherford was given a three year contract extension which runs through the 2021-2022 season. Think about it like this, Rutherford's contract expires the same time as Evgeni Malkin's. Rutherford won two Stanley Cups here and despite recent struggles and some questionable moves, the Penguins are still in good shape to contend for a Cup again this year.
During Rutherford's Q & A session regarding his extension, he hinted that pending league approval a change was coming and he'd hope to have more information soon.
3.) The Penguins acquired forward Tanner Pearson from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Carl Hagelin. I've never seen such a sad scene on the Twitter and Facebook yesterday. Pens fans were emotionally distraught because Hagelin was cute and his hair had 'flow.'
Hagelin, 30, was a good player for the Penguins and a vital part of both Stanley Cups. He was the first player acquired which gave the Penguins their identity of being a 'speed' team. His inability to finish scoring chances definitely made him expendable. Over the last two seasons, Hagelin only had 16 goals. Playing on Evgeni Malkin's line you have to produce and he just didn't. On top of that, he was set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason and was likely not going to resign here.
Pearson, 26, is known as a decent skater with an even better shot. Through 17 games this season, Pearson has just one assist which isn't exactly good, but playing on a line with Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, or Derick Brassard could quickly fix that. Pearson also has years of control since he's signed through the 2020-2021 season at $3.75m AAV. The Penguins retained $250,000 of Hagelin's contract to even out the deal money wise. Pearson will likely kill penalties for the Penguins too, an area in which Hagelin excelled in. To be honest, you can teach anyone to kill penalties so I'm not really worried about the loss of Hagelin. Overall, Pearson is younger, has years of control, a better shot, and will bolster secondary scoring. Safe to say that I am a fan of the deal for now. He's expected to make his debut tonight and will wear #14 (cue Chris Kunitz fanboys being mad).
4.) Sidney Crosby has an upper-body injury. No idea when it occurred but he's day-to-day. Sullivan thinks that the Penguins could be without Sid for a week but I guess we'll see. Sullivan also ruled out a concussion, as you always have to do when 'Crosby' and 'upper-body' are used in the same sentence.
Matt Murray gets the start in net tonight.
The Penguins will debut their new third jerseys tonight. A lot of people hate them which makes me like them. They'll wear them 12 times this season.
Coming into tonight, the Lightning are the best team in the Eastern Conference with a 12-5-1 record.
The Lightning suffered a tough break (literally). Goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy, is out indefinitely with a broken foot.
Expect backup Louie Domingue to get the start tonight. As a corresponding move, the Bolts have recalled goaltender Eddie Pasquale to back him up.
Speaking of recalls, the Penguins have recalled forward Derek Grant. He'll slot in during Crosby's injury.
Tanner Pearson has 69 career goals and that's #nice.
The Penguins are 1-5-1 over their last seven. Good lord that's bad.
Rutherford hinted that more changes could be coming, however, he wants to see the Penguins with Derick Brassard in the lineup.
Speaking of which, Brassard skated this morning but he has yet to rejoin the team at practice.
I miss Justin Schultz.
Tanner Pearson is going to score tonight.
I'll need a lot of alcohol for this game.
A frequently used GIF this season.
Old Posts from our site, heyyyyyfannnssss (4/11-2/15). Cute name, but impossible to remember.