Sabres at Penguins, 7:30 PM ET, Mellon Arena
Sabres, 12-11-3, 27 pts, 9th in Eastern Conference
Penguins, 15-7-4, 34 pts., 5th in Eastern Conference
There was certainly a buzz in the Penguins’ air in July when they signed Finnish Elite League scoring champion Janne Pesonen to a contract. Would he be that elusive scoring winger for Sidney Crosby ?? Maybe another European winger for Evgeni Malkin ??
Well, eventually, that may very well still happen, but a couple months into Pesonen’s first season in North America, he’s ran into a couple of speed bumps.
The Penguins have recalled defenseman Ben Lovejoy from their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.
Lovejoy will replace Hal Gill, who banged up his right shoulder on a check during the Senators game on Saturday afternoon. It is unknown how long Gill will be out of the lineup, if he is out at all. Lovejoy has four goals and 10 assists in 24 games with the Baby Penguins.
From Pierre LeBrun on HNIC’s Hot Stove:
“The Penguins will start up contract extension negotiations with Jordan Staal at the start of the new year. Shorter term deal and a little less money than what has been talked about previously.”
Take it for what it’s worth. His recent surge has certainly quelled the trade speculation. Interesting, though, if it ends up being a short deal, say, 3 or 4 years. Might give an indication of how long he wants to be third fiddle, but that’s merely me speculating.
So does the saying go “You have to be good to be lucky”, or is it the other way around ??
Well, doesn’t matter. Jason Spezza, who along with linemates Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley have been Penguin-killers over the years, got a fortunate bounce of the puck off Kris Letang’s skate for his 3rd goal of the game which turned out to be the eventual game-winner for the Senators, who held on to defeat the Penguins at Scotiabank Place, 3-2.
While I’m sure no one in the Vegas Gold and Black will use the term “tired”, it appeared to me that the entire Penguins squad, playing their third game in under 72 hours, was a step slow all game long. There were loads of errant passes by the offense, a lot of slow responses by the defense, and Pens’ goalie Dany Sabourin made some very questionable decisions.
Penguins at Senators, 2:00 PM ET, Scotiabank Place
Penguins, 15-6-4, 34 pts., 4th in Eastern Conference
Senators, 9-10-4, 22 pts, 12th in Eastern Conference
From the Penguins:
PENGUINS FORWARD TYLER KENNEDY TO MISS FOUR TO SIX WEEKS
“The Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy will miss four to six weeks with a sprained knee, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero. Kennedy suffered the injury on December 3 against the New York Rangers and has been placed on injured reserve.”
Tough blow to an already banged-up Penguins roster. Chris Minard looked good in Kennedy’s place against Carolina, looks like he’ll get an extended look. The jury remains out on Janne Pesonen, he’s only getting token minutes from HCMT.
It figures. With Raleigh only 200 miles away from my humble abode, I’ve been able to attend Penguins games in Raleigh six times over the years. The Pens are 0-5-1 in those games. So it figures when I DON’T go, they play their best game in Raleigh in several years.
[By the way, the Pens are much more successful when I travel 200 miles north to DC, thanks Caps fans….]
It was refreshing for a change to have a quote/unquote easy win tonight at the expense of the Carolina Hurricanes and their old/new head coach, Paul Maurice.
Petr Sykora scored two goals for the 42nd time in his NHL career without scoring a hat trick, extending his own NHL record, and Sidney Crosby had four assists to pull within two points of teammate Evgeni Malkin for the NHL scoring lead as the Penguins cruised to 5-2 win over the Hurricanes in Raleigh tonight.
From SI.com’s Kostya Kennedy:
Have you caught the latest installment of the Sidney Crosby Show? The run of multipoint nights, the lifting of the injury-wracked Penguins, the on-ice act that also features the artistic stylings of sidekick Evgeni Malkin and his stick of fire? You don’t know what treats Sid the Kid will provide these days. Last week, he scored an empty net goal from his belly.
For all of Crosby’s statistical bounce—13 points in six games, 22 in his last 13—he is hardly to be evaluated by points alone. He may have risen to second in the NHL in scoring, but he is also second, to Magnificent Malkin, on his own team. What we are seeing now, as Crosby delights his homies in Pittsburgh, stuns the crowd in Hockeytown, incites the masses in New York City, is the Kid at 21. The man-boy is now officially a man, all grown up, not just by the measure of the nation’s bartenders, but in his dignity and his resolve.
UPDATE: Crosby now has 431,975 votes, passing Alex Kovalev’s 430884. Great job, Penguins fans. And by the book, I may add. Evgeni Malkin is still 5th with 370,513.
The Montreal All-Star voting script is about to lose some of its effect.
While the Habs still have Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay as #1, #3 and #4, respectively, Kovy is about to lose his top spot to Sidney Crosby.
Crosby is now a mere 700 votes shy of Kovalev, 429,547 to 428,847.
Evgeni Malkin is 5th in forwards voting with 367,517.
About The Confluence
Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.
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