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Penguins' Joseph Blandisi: Heads down to minors
The Penguins assigned Blandisi to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday.
Blandisi suited up for one game with the Pens since being traded from Anaheim, and he fired two shots on goal in just 6:47 of ice time. The 24-year-old will develop better with more-consistent minutes in the minors.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Casey DeSmith: On three-game losing streak
DeSmith allowed six goals on 34 shots in a 7-3 loss to the Golden Knights on Saturday.
This stat line doesn't come anywhere close to suggesting how well DeSmith played. He faced several breakaway chances in the first two periods and made some great saves, allowing the Penguins to come back and tie the game at three Saturday. It looked as though the Penguins took the lead on a power-play goal in the second, but the officials wiped out the score after review. It was all Golden Knights after that. Regardless, DeSmith is on a cold streak, having gone 0-3-0 with an .841 save percentage in his last three starts.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Patric Hornqvist: Returning Saturday
Hornqvist is taking part in Saturday's warmups against Vegas, suggesting he'll be back from a concussion for the contest, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Hornqvist will make his first appearance since Jan. 8. The power forward has 15 goals and 11 assists, so the Penguins will welcome him back with open arms.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Casey DeSmith: Facing Knights on Saturday
DeSmith will start Saturday's road tilt in Vegas, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
DeSmith will be countered by ex-Penguin Marc-Andre Fleury and a Vegas club that's 15-4-3 on home ice this season. The matchup is far from favorable, but DeSmith's almost always in with a chance to win thanks to the prolific group of skaters in front of him.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Juuso Riikola: Tallies second goal
Riikola scored the second goal of his NHL career with a power-play marker against the Coyotes in a 3-2 overtime victory Friday night.
The 25-year-old scored from the point, recording his second goal in six games. He's come close to scoring a lot more than two goals, but through 24 games, Riikola has two goals and three points. He's most valuable in the hits category -- where Riikola has 54 in 24 contests -- but for the most part, the Finnish defenseman can be left safely on the waiver wire.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Matt Murray: Gets back in win column
Murray allowed two goals on 33 shots in a 3-2 overtime victory against the Coyotes on Friday.
The 24-year-old had to be sharp early, as the Penguins took four penalties -- one of which was called against Murray for unsportsmanlike conduct -- in the first 12 minutes of the game. He got through it mostly unscathed, allowing just one goal. Murray was very sharp in overtime as well, helping the Penguins eke out the second point. The 24-year-old has found his groove, winning 10 of the last 11 games with a .944 save percentage. He is 14-6-1 with a 2.86 GAA and .913 save percentage in 22 games this season.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Patric Hornqvist: Not ready for Friday's game
Hornqvist (concussion) won't play in Friday's game versus the Coyotes.
Hornqvist has returned to practice in a non-contact role but will sit out his fourth straight game. Dominik Simon is expected to remain in a second-line role until Hornqvist is ready to return, which could be Saturday's contest versus the Golden Knights.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Matt Murray: Starting in desert
Murray will defend the road cage in Friday's game versus the Coyotes.
Following a span where he marked a .963 save percentage and eight straight wins, Murray has now allowed four goals in back-to-back road games. Arizona enters this contest with wins in four of the last five outings and converting on five of 14 power-play chances (35.7 percent) in that span, so Murray will need to be on top of his game to right the ship.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Patric Hornqvist: Takes steps in right direction
Hornqvist (concussion) is nearing a return to game action after he participated in Thursday's practice while wearing a non-contact jersey, Josh Getzoff of PensTV reports.
Hornqvist remains without a return timetable, and given his history with head injuries, the Penguins aren't likely to rush the 32-year-old back. That said, midway through Thursday's practice, the veteran forward switched to a regular (full contact) jersey and appears to actually stand an outside chance of suiting up Friday in Arizona.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Derick Brassard: Seeing trade winds swirling
The Penguins are looking to trade Brassard and have made the rest of the NHL know he is available, per Josh Yohe of The Athletic.
Brassard hasn't lived up to expectations since joining the Penguins, who were looking for a third-line center to mesh with Phil Kessel. In his last 20 games, Brassard has managed just five goals and a pair of helpers -- well off the 30-plus point campaigns he was putting together in Ottawa. Despite offseason tensions between the two organizations over the signing of Jack Johnson, the Blue Jackets are reportedly interested in reclaiming Brassard, who they drafted sixth overall in the 2006 NHL Draft, per Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Joseph Blandisi: Acquired via trade
Blandisi was brought in by the Penguins from the Ducks in exchange for Derek Grant on Thursday.
Blandisi has seen action in just three NHL games this season, while Grant has played in 25, which is likely the exact reason the Penguins made the move to swap the two natural centers. In Blandisi, the Penguins get some roster flexibility and can move him to the minors without having to place him on waivers, something the team couldn't have done with Grant. While the 28-year-old Blandisi was most recently logging time with AHL San Diego, he is expected to join the team for Friday's clash with Arizona and could slot into the lineup right away if neither Zach Aston-Reese (undisclosed) or Patric Hornqvist (concussion) is available.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Kris Letang: Tallies goal in loss
Letang scored a goal and nearly had another in a 5-2 loss to the Sharks on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old continued his Norris Trophy-type season, scoring his 11th goal of the season in pretty fashion. Through 44 games, Letang has 39 points with a plus-10 rating while averaging more than 26 minutes of ice time. If he stays healthy, Letang has a chance to set new career highs in goals and assists.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Matt Murray: Snaps winning streak
Murray allowed four goals on 28 shots in a 5-2 loss to the Sharks on Tuesday.
This snapped a nine-game winning streak for Murray in which he posted a .953 save percentage. While Murray has dipped back well below the .900 mark in the category during his last two starts, he's really turned around his season with the long winning streak. Murray is 13-6-1 with a .911 save percentage and a 2.91 GAA this season. He'll look to get back on track, as the Penguins continue their west coast trip this weekend.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Patric Hornqvist: Coming along slowly
Hornqvist (concussion) -- who began skating back in Pittsburgh on Friday -- will be brought along slowly to avoid any long-term health risks, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Hornqvist has a fairly extensive history with concussions, so the Penguins will certainly make sure he's 100 percent healthy before considering him an option to rejoin the lineup. His next step in the recovery process involves returning to practice on a non-contact basis, followed by shedding his non-contact jersey for a full practice or two. Barring a quick progression, it's a good bet that Hornqivst will be sidelined through the All-Star break at a minimum.... See More ... See Less
Penguins' Matt Murray: Gets starting nod Tuesday
Murray will tend the twine for Tuesday's road tussle with San Jose, Sam Kasan of Pens Inside Scoop reports.
Murray will put his nine-game winning streak up against Sharks netminder Martin Jones, who is riding a seven-game winning streak of his own. The 24-year-old Murray is sporting a 1.55 GAA and .953 save percentage since returning from injury, but will be tested by a San Jose offense that is scoring 3.55 goals per game (fifth highest in the league).... See More ... See Less