The left winger is rekindling his youth skating next to Sidney Crosby -- he's netted three goals in the last five games. It's fitting that Crosby recorded his 1,000th point on Kunitz's goal, given that the two have paired together for many years. Kunitz will likely reprise his role as a bottom-six winger when Conor Sheary (upper body) returns, but he's turning back the clock with Crosby for now.
Kunitz collected his seventh goal of the season and registered three hits Tuesday against the Flames.
He's spending more and more time skating as Sidney Crosby's left winger. While he's lost some of his speed, the 37-year-old is intimately familiar with Crosby's game as a longtime linemate. Kunitz isn't the only option to skate with Crosby while Conor Sheary (upper body) mends, but he's looked surprisingly good in the last couple games.
The 37-year-old isn't the 60-point man he was several seasons ago, but he still averages a half-point per game with 17 points (4G, 13A) in 33 tilts. He ranks second on Pittsburgh with 103 hits and three game-winning goals as his transition from Crosby-linemate to third-line grinder has mostly gone smoothly.
Kunitz scored a third-period goal to snap a 15-game goalless drought during Wednesday's win over Carolina.
The 37-year-old veteran has struggled to find the goals column this season with just three tallies through 31 games, but his 16 points keep him on pace to take a run at his third consecutive 40-point showing. Still, Kunitz is far past his prime, and expecting him to provide more than tertiary offensive numbers is likely ill-advised. There aren't many fantasy formats where he's anything more than a streamer or low-end option.
Kunitz collected two assists -- one on the power play -- as well as five shots and a plus-2 rating in Tuesday's 7-2 undressing of the Rangers.
Over his first eight games since coming back from a lower-body injury, Kunitz had been patently awful, notching just one point, 12 shots and a minus-1 rating -- numbers that look particularly ugly in light of the Penguins' recent offensive success. That all changed Tuesday, but you still can't count on much from Kunitz, who owns 14 points in 27 games. His hits keep him in play in specialty formats, but his fantasy value in more standard leagues is pretty low even though he sees second-line ice time alongside Evgeni Malkin.