A shutout, power play goals, solid debut, and a broken streak
Nothing but good news for the Penguins coming out of the all star break. We have a shutout victory, a very successful debut, and of course an Edmonton Oilers loss last night.
The Pittsburgh Penguins 17 game winning streak was on the line last night. Edmonton was sitting on 16 in a row until Adin Hill and the Vegas Golden Knights put a stop to it. It was a nice favor from them as now I don’t have to point out how there were no shootouts in 1992-93 and games could end in a tie where as they cannot now thus making the Oilers streak carry an asterisk. Dodged that bullet. It also provides a chance for a reminder that the 1992-93 season was the best individual season of all-time by any player. Mario Lemieux was on pace to break Gretzky’s individual season records until the cancer diagnosis hit. It may have stolen a large chunk of games that year from him, but not his caliber of play
As for the game last night we saw a 3-0 shutout victory over the Winnipeg Jets in the Penguins first game action after the all star break. Outside of a miserable second period the Penguins had a decent enough showing. Tristan Jarry stopped all 23 shots he faced and kept the Jets second period push at bay. It was his sixth shutout of the season and he is moving up the single season record list for the Penguins
Still a ways to go to get to Fleury, but six is a really good number and he has a decent chance to add to it based on how he’s played this year. When Jarry’s been good, he’s been really good.
The Penguins power play has been a real drag on the team this year. Last night they had a five-minute major power play opportunity. I think most people who have watched the team this year were resigned to them not scoring any goals on it, or even allowing some. Instead, we saw both power play units score and propel the Penguins to victory. Jeff Carter and Bryan Rust were the goal scorers.
The reason they were on the power play was a dirty hit by Brenden Dillon
Acciari did not return to the game. The Penguins have cancelled practice today so there will likely be no update until tomorrow.
Jesse Puljujarvi made his Penguins debut and I would consider it very successful. Considering his path back to the NHL it would be understandable if his acclimation took a little bit of time. Last night, it looked like he acclimated just fine. He had the second best CF% and xGF% among Penguins last night at 66.67 and 82.43 respectively. All in all a very encouraging start for the former fourth overall pick.
It was only his first game back since injury, but here’s a not so flattering stat about Penguins winger Reilly Smith
After a really solid start to the season (11 points in 10 games) Reilly Smith has fallen off a cliff (9 points the next 31 games). How much of it was injury related? If it wasn’t the Penguins have a problem here. His first game back left a lot to be desired. He was on the ice for 10 shot attempts for and 23 against for a CF% of 30.30 and an xGF% of 32.14. They are going to have to get so much more from him or they may have to consider moving him in a hockey trade. You can’t have 5M tied up in a floundering player who may or may not want to be in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins will hit the road and visit Marc-Andre Fleury’s Minnesota Wild before traveling to Winnipeg for another bout with the Jets.
Thanks for reading!