Although there was some hope that Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz (lower body) would return on Sunday, that won’t be the case.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma reported that Kunitz is “feeling well, but not well enough to be in today’s lineup,” according to NHL.com. This is his second straight game on the sidelines.
Pittsburgh is also missing James Neal and the absence of two of the team’s top-six forwards might encourage Bylsma to pair up Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin more often than normal. For the most part though, it’s projected that Taylor Pyatt will be playing alongside Crosby in Kunitz’s place.
Philadelphia earned a 4-0 victory in the first half of this home-and-home series on Saturday. Today’s contest will start at 12:30 p.m. ET and air on NBC. You can also watch it online by clicking here.
If the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to beat the rival Philadelphia Flyers, they’ll have to do it without Chris Kunitz.
Kunitz was a late scratch for their game Saturday afternoon and Jayson Megna replaced him in the lineup. With Kunitz out, Taylor Pyatt replaced him on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Lee Stempniak. Megna started the game on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen.
Kunitz missed practice on Thursday with what coach Dan Bylsma called “bumps and bruises” and joined James Neal on the injured list for today’s game. Neal is out with a concussion.
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Taylor Pyatt’s Monday night was cut short after he suffered a lower-body injury delivering a hit against the Ottawa Senators. The team announced that he won’t return, giving him just 22 seconds of ice time tonight.
The Penguins claimed the 32-year-old off waivers from the New York Rangers in early January.
He has two goals in 13 contests with Pittsburgh after managing a single assist in 22 games with the Rangers this season. The former first-round pick (eighth overall by the New York Islanders in 1999) peaked with two consecutive 37-point seasons with Vancouver in 2006-07 and 07-08, including a career-high 23 goals in 06-07.
Many believe that the starting goalie job for Team Canada comes down to Roberto Luongo, Carey Price and everyone else. That’s with good reason, as Price has been excellent this season, but Wednesday wasn’t kind to the 26-year-old.
The Pittsburgh Penguins chased him about 15 minutes into the second period, scoring five goals on 21 shots to give Price the hook. This is just the second time he’s been pulled this season, with the other occasion coming against the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 10.
Of course, a goalie isn’t always pulled because the goals are his fault.
Here are all five of them, if you want to determine if it’s more about the Montreal Canadiens’ woes or an off-night for Price:
Jussi Jokinen 8:48 into the first period:
Taylor Pyatt 16:25 into the opening frame:
Jokinen’s second tally:
Sidney Crosby’s 26th goal of the season:
Evgeni Malkin ends Price’s night:
Some news and notes to pass your way…
Pens bring up PL3
Pittsburgh has recalled veteran tough guy Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
PL3 (I’m not writing out his last name in full anymore), 28, has 137 PIM in 31 game this year and fought 11 times. Unsurprisingly, he skated on the Penguins’ “extras” line with Taylor Pyatt, Zach Sill and Deryk Engelland this morning.
Sens demote Pageau
Ottawa sent diminutive forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau to AHL Binghamton on Wednesday.
Pageau, 21, has played in 21 games with the Sens this year, scoring two goals. The former fourth-round pick has been a quality scorer at the American League level, recording 16 points in 15 games with the B-Sens this year.
— Vancouver sent forward Darren Archibald back to AHL Utica. David Booth will return from a three-game benching tonight in Anaheim.
— Columbus sent defenseman Dalton Prout to AHL Springfield on a conditioning assignment.