The Pittsburgh Penguins have traveled some bumpy roads to their victories, but the bottom line is that they’re now looking quite nice at 10-5-0.
That’s an especially strong mark considering their 0-3-0 start.
In the case of Wednesday night, the Penguins managed to hang with the cream of the East crop, besting the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 via a shootout.
It was a busy game in which players suffered bumps and bruises while tension sometimes ran over, particularly for Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby during a tenuous second period.
Pittsburgh managed to avoid too much damage in that middle frame, however, and ultimately rode Patric Hornqvist‘s third-period tally to tonight’s victory.
Comebacks haven’t always come easily for Pittsburgh, apparently.
Naturally, there are still things to work on.
The Penguins still have those moments of temper. Their power play also failed to win the game during a 4-on-3 OT opportunity.
Either way, they continue to win in bunches, and Crosby came through with a two-assist night (while also scoring the shootout winner).
There’s no “style points” category in the standings after all, right?
After missing three games, Rickard Rakell is back for the Anaheim Ducks, who take on the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
The Ducks have been on a roll lately, although they did lose a 4-3 overtime decision against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.
Rakell isn’t a big name, yet he received some looks as a top-line center when Ryan Getzlaf was sidelined. He may help boost Anaheim’s scoring depth, often a concern for the Ducks.
Let’s all say it together: “Hockey goalies are tough.”
Marc-Andre Fleury experienced a busy first period even before he was getting patched up. Those repairs were needed when Ben Lovejoy accidentally high-sticked his own goalie, which managed to get under his mask and cut him up.
Fleury missed a little bit of time getting repairs, forcing Jeff Zatkoff to make three saves.
Pittsburgh’s workhorse seemed fine, essentially laughing it off … while bleeding.
Yes, that’s hockey.
Video is likely to come.
Montreal’s goalie Mike Condon stood out himself, even if he didn’t get wounded.
The second period’s been one of frustration for the Penguins, including Kris Letang getting frazzled because of the hit Andrei Markov delivered leading into Brendan Gallagher‘s goal:
Will we see Mike Richards play in the NHL in 2015-16?
There are still quite a few hoops to jump through, with sorting out legal issues being the most obvious hurdle to clear.
Regardless, it’s worth noting this report from TSN’s Bob McKenzie: Richards is skating with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers.
Seems like a mutually beneficial setup: Richards gets to stay in shape while OHL players maybe get to pick his hockey brain a bit.
It would likely be some time before Richards is even really an option for NHL teams – even assuming he wouldn’t face any sort of league discipline before returning – but is there a team that’s a good fit for the two-way forward?
Not that far removed from a trip to the hospital to make sure he wasn’t dealing with blood clot issues, Pascal Dupuis is indeed back in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lineup on Wednesday.
The Pens host the Montreal Canadiens in what should be an interesting game.
It was expected that Dupuis might play after returning to practice on Monday, so here’s your confirmation.
Update: Wow, he did not take long to score, either. Check out the beautiful feed by Sidney Crosby and Dupuis goal in the video above.