It’s been a tough go for Marc-Andre Fleury lately — he’s allowed at least four goals in six of his last 10 games, with the Pens going 3-5-2 over that stretch. What’s more, Pittsburgh’s defense has been decimated to where it’ll feature just five — yes, five — healthy skaters tonight when the Islanders come into Consol.
Which puts pressure on Fleury to come up with a clutch performance.
At the very least, Fleury will need to be better against the Isles tonight than in his three previous outings this season (1-1-1, 3.26 GAA, .904 save percentage). But the circumstances don’t bode well. Pittsburgh’s depleted defense has resulted in high shot totals — Fleury’s faced an average of 33.8 in his last five games — and New York is one of the NHL’s most prolific offensive teams, currently sitting fourth in goals per game (including 10 in its last three.)
For the Isles, Jaroslav Halak will get the start in goal.
Sabres at Jackets: Anders Lindback vs. Sergei Bobrovsky
The assignment, first reported by Reinhart’s WHL Kootenay team, will extend the 19-year-old’s season by at least a couple of weeks. Rochester has six regular-season games left, starting tonight against Lake Erie; the club won’t be making the Calder Cup playoffs, however, so Reinhart’s campaign will essentially end when the Amerks play their final game on Apr. 19.
Still, it promises to be an intriguing two weeks.
Reinhart achieved a remarkable level of success this year, making his NHL debut for the Sabres in October and playing nine games before heading back to Kootenay. There, he scored 65 points in 47 games — adding another nine in seven playoff appearances — and, in January, helped Canada capture gold at the 2015 World Juniors, where he was named to the tournament all-star team after scoring 11 points in seven games.
Reinhart is expected to challenge for a spot in Buffalo next season, and many project he could end up skating on a line with Evander Kane, acquired from Winnipeg in February.
PHT Morning Skate: Former NHLer Warren Peters delivers a devastating hit in a Danish league game
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Former NHLer Warren Peters is in some hot water following a devastating hit in a Danish league game. Peters, who appeared in 94 career NHL games with the Flames, Wild and Stars, hit Lasse Bang with a blindside hit. Bang suffered a concussion on the hit while Peters was slapped with a six-game suspension. (Bar Down)
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St. Louis Blues’ defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk talks about the elite blue liners he’s played against during his six seasons in the NHL. (The Players’ Tribune)
The Hockey News looks at five trades made at the March trade deadline currently paying off. (The Hockey News)
Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich displays his best Loyd Christmas impersonation after chipping a tooth.
Kristina Rutherford visits with one of the newest members of the Buffalo Sabres, Evander Kane. (Sportsnet)