Hellllooooooooo everyboddddyyy, how are yaaaaaa? Tonight the Penguins (37-15-6) conclude their home-and-home series with the god awful Maple Leafs of Toronto (31-22-8). Puck is set to drop from Scotiabank Arena just after 7:00PM.
Folks, I'm still trying to figure out if the Penguins are just that good or the Leafs are just that bad. I think it's somewhere in the middle but nonetheless Pittsburgh put on an absolute clinic on Tuesday night when they faced the Leafs at home. The Penguins ended up winning by a score of 5-2 but for most, if not all of the game, it felt as if the Pens just absolutely dominated play. Pittsburgh received goals from Bryan Rust (23), Anthony Angello (1), Jason Zucker (17), Sidney Crosby (12), and Teddy Blueger (9). The Penguins did this without forward Evgeni Malkin. He took the ice for warmups but was scratched just before game time with an illness. Good news though, it's apparently not the Coronavirus as he did make the trip and should be back in the lineup tonight.
The Penguins have outscored the Leafs 11-3 in their two wins this season. This will be the final matchup between these two clubs and the first game in Toronto, so it'll be interesting to see how that goes with the Leafs getting the last change. Speaking of change, the Leafs made two small trades yesterday acquiring Panthers forward Denis Malgin and Senators forward Max Veronneau. I've never heard of these guys in my life, however, that's to be expected with Matthews, Marner, and Tavares are taking up a combined $33.527M in cap space. Just to compare, and because it's comical, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Jake Guentzel count for a combined $31.45M. Yes, Crosby and Malkin signed back in the day but they also took very team-friendly deals. Letang's contract looks like a steal (to everyone except Pens Chronicles) and with Guentzel's production, that contract should be a steal as well. It's fun watching Toronto burn.
Speaking of Toronto burning, per Head Coach Sheldon Keefe, they will turn to Frederick Andersen again tonight in goal. Andersen wasn't bad Tuesday, he just wasn't good. For the Penguins, I fully expect them to turn to Matt Murray, although Jarry was very sharp on Tuesday, making 34 saves on 36 shots.
'O Canada' tonight.
Per Penguins PR, since Sidney Crosby returned from injury the power play is 13/42 (31%). That's pretty good.
The Penguins have scored a power play goal in 5 straight games and have 7 total during this stretch.
Unreal that Anthony Angello scored his first NHL goal and he didn't find out he was playing until minutes before game time. This year's team man...
Kris Letang enters play tonight on six-game point streak. He has 3G and 4A during this stretch.
Zach Aston-Reese is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
John Marino was placed on injured reserve. As a corresponding move, the Penguins recalled defenseman Zach Trotman from Wilkes-Barre.
Defenseman Brian Dumoulin is alive! He has skated on his own the last few days, per Mike Sullivan.
Nick Bjugstad continues to skate on his own. Both of these players could return by 2048.
As mentioned above, Evgeni Malkin should return tonight. Although, Anthony Angello has one more goal with Malkin out of the lineup than he does in the lineup so it really makes you think...
Jason Zucker (I hardly know her!!!) has 3 goals in 4 games with the Penguins already.
The Penguins still sit first in the Metrosexual Division with 80 points. The Caps are in action tonight hosting the Montreal Canadiens.