Overtime hockey is some of the most stressful hockey to watch, but a beaten up and injury riddled Pittsburgh Penguins was able to make it to an overtime period against a tough New York Rangers. The game may have ended in an overtime loss for the Penguins, but it was better than some may have been expecting out of that game. Injuries to two top line forwards (Chris Kunitz and Patric Hornqvist) and a pair of top line defenseman (Olli Maatta and Kris Letang). With injuries and a poor performance from call up defenseman Brian Dumoulin, it was a stolen one point that the Pens did not deserve.
In attempt to cope with multiple injuries, general manager, Jim Rutherford, went out and found someone the Penguins were looking for. Rob Klinkhammer, standing at 6’3″ and 214lbs, in his first shift with the Pens he showed why he was here, to be a physical presence on the ice. He played strong and was able to draw a couple of penalties.
On an upside the Pens are looking forward to possibly getting back Letang and Hornqvist as soon as Friday.
Other than injuries to top performers, the players that have been called up from the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins have not been performing at NHL level. Zach Sill, who did start the season in Pittsburgh, has played close to 50 games in the NHL and is yet to record his first point. Understanding he is not here to be a solid scorer but even a little help on offence would be nice. Brian Dumoulin, a young defenceman who has great potential in the NHL, currently is not ready for a spot on a professional team. He was the reason for multiple Ranger goals on Monday, also ending the night at a -2.
You can not, however, pin all blame for a loss on one guy. Crosby, Malkin, and even Steve Downie played some of their strongest hockey on Monday, but still came up with just an overtime loss to show. As players get healthy the Penguins should easily come back healthy and perform at the top of their game. Next game is Friday, December 12, the Pens will host the Calgary Flames.