Evgeni Malkin

Pens have good chance to bump slump versus Preds


In theory, the Nashville Predators seem like the perfect opponent for the Pittsburgh Penguins to try and jump-start their struggling offense against.

Not only are the Preds languishing in the goals-against department without injured star goalie Pekka Rinne, they’ve also played six straight road games ahead of tonight’s at Consol Energy Center.

“They have been on the road for what to us would seem like forever,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said, per NHL.com. “They’ve been on the road an awful lot and now they’re coming into our building.”

On top of that, the Pens are expected to have Paul Martin back in the lineup after the veteran defenseman missed a pair of games with a lower-body injury.

Pittsburgh could use an offensive breakout. With a mere three goals (none even strength) in their last three games (each of them regulation losses), the Pens find themselves just one point ahead of Washington for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The club’s two-time Art Ross Trophy winner, Evgeni Malkin, has gone 11 games without scoring a goal, managing just six shots in his last five games.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.