Major injuries sideline multiple Pens players just as the Senators come to town.
The Penguins walked into practice to find some alarming news this morning. Their ever-expanding injured list which was two men deep when they arrived in New York on Thursday now has five names on it. And half of the Pens' defensive corps are the newly injured parties.
Jeff Petry is once again sidelined with an upper-body injury and is out indefinitely. Jan Rutta is officially week to week with a lower-body issue. Finally, and most consequentially, top pairing defenseman Marcus Pettersson was placed on Long Term Injured Reserve with a lower-body injury and is out week-to-week.
Compounding these issues is the fact that the Penguins' reserve defensemen in the minor leagues have also been decimated by ailments recently. Their last healthy NHL veteran was recalled today as the Penguins promoted Taylor Fedun to play his first league game in three years due to this player shortage. Beyond Fedun, Pittsburgh has no further NHL-caliber defensemen remaining if there are any further injuries. The only available names are young, raw prospects. As DK Pittsburgh Sports' WBS correspondent Taylor Haase recapped:
The Penguins are down to spare parts and in the toughest stretch of the season as they try to hold on to the last Eastern Conference playoff position.
One of the teams in the race for that spot is their opponent for this evening, the Ottawa Senators. Every game is a battle for the Pens' playoff lives from this point out and in tonight's tilt the threat to that post-season bid is right in front of them. They'll need to bring an intensity that's been sorely missing in their recent performances to keep the young Senators team and the ghosts of their injured players at bay.
Pens Game #70: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators
Date: March 20, 2023
Time: 7 PM (ET)
Place: Pittsburgh, PA
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Penguins Broadcast: AT&T Sportsnet
Senators Broadcasts: SNE, SNO, SNW, RDS
Online Stream: ESPN+
Penguins Radio: 105.9 The X/Penguins Radio Network
Senators Radio: TSN1200
Records- PIT: 34-25-10, OTT: 33-31-5
Last 10- PIT: 5-4-1, OTT: 4-5-1
Streaks- PIT: 3 Losses, OTT: 5 Losses
Standings- PIT: 16th, OTT: 22nd
Points- PIT: 78, OTT: 71
PIT: Eastern Conference #8, 2nd Wildcard playoff spot.
OTT: Eastern Conference #12, 7 points out of 2nd Wildcard playoff spot.
Season Series- 1-1
Series Goals For- PIT: 8, OTT: 6.
Team Analytics Comparison:
Projected starting goalies:
-Tristan Jarry- #35
Bio Info: 6' 2", 194 lbs. DOB: 4/29/1995 (27). From: Surrey, BC.
Drafted: 2013- Rd 2, Pk 44 (PIT). Experience: 7th Season.
Record: 20-9-6, 3.03 GAA, .907 SV%
Career vs. OTT: 3-0-0, 2.33 GAA, .939 SV%
Bio Info: 6' 1", 189 lbs. DOB: 9/20/1998 (24). From: Nanaimo, BC.
Drafted: 2017: Rd 7, Pk 194 (DAL). Experience: Rookie.
Record: 0-0-0, 6.50 GAA, .500 SV%
Career vs. PIT: Debut
-Alexander Nylander appears set to be a healthy scratch based on this morning's practice lines. Danton Heinen is the forward stepping back in instead.
-The Pens also shifted some of the deck chairs on the rest of the struggling bottom six around further as you can see in our lines below. They're looking for more spark from those players.
-Nick Bonino (F): LTIR, lacerated kidney, out until 4/4.
-Dmitry Kulikov (D): LTIR, lower body, out until 4/6.
-Jeff Petry (D): upper body, unknown.
-Marcus Pettersson (D): LTIR, lower body, week-to-week.
-Jan Rutta (D): lower body, week-to-week.
The projected Penguins lines for Monday, March 20, 2023, vs. the Ottawa Senators:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Danton Heinen - Ryan Poehling- Mikael Granlund
Drew O’Connor - Jeff Carter - Josh Archibald
P.O. Joseph - Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin - Chad Ruhwedel
Mark Friedman - Taylor Fedun
PP1: Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Rakell, Guentzel
PP2: Joseph, Zucker, Rust, Granlund, Carter
PK1: Poehling, Rust, Dumoulin, Ruhwedel
PK2: Granlund, Archibald, *TBD (Friedman), Letang
-2022-23 Senators Team Leaders vs. Penguins-
Goals: Brady Tkachuk- 2.
Assists: Thomas Chabot, Brady Tkachuk- 3.
Points: Brady Tkachuk- 5.
Shots: Thomas Chabot, Brady Tkachuk- 10.
Hits: Parker Kelly- 7.
Blocks: Jake Sanderson- 7.
Takeaways: Claude Giroux, Tim Stutzle- 2.
Faceoff%: Mark Kastelic- 58.8%.
PIM: Travis Hamonic- 17 PIM.
-Anton Forsberg (G): IR, knee, out until 4/14.
-Parker Kelly (F): undisclosed, day to day.
-Mathieu Joseph (F): lower body, out indefinitely.
-Josh Norris (F): IR, shoulder, out for 2022-23.
-Cam Talbot (G): upper body, week to week.
For The Penguins: Jake Guentzel. The Penguins aren't having much of a "March of the Penguins" but Guentzel sure is. That Penguin has marched through March scoring in all but three games. He has four points in the last three games and nine points in the last eight games overall. It's been a very productive month for this Pen.
For The Senators: Tim Stutzle. Jake Guentzel and Tim Stutzle, what a perfect rhyming pair for our "OTW"! They're both on matching hot streaks to boot. Stutzle has managed an impressive 10 points in just the last five games. He's got a six-game point streak going as well. Not too shabby at all for a 21-year-old third-year pro who while already one of the brightest stars in the game is not even in his "prime" yet.