Tag: Zac Rinaldo

Chris Kunitz, Karl Alzner

Get your game notes: Pens at Caps

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Washington Capitals hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:


• Tuesday night – PIT def. WPG 5-3: This win snapped PIT’s 4-game losing streak (0-2-2 record).

• Neither Sidney Crosby (lower-body) nor Evgeni Malkin (lower-body) played yesterday.

• Crosby was forced to sit out yesterday because he skipped the All-Star Game, but he practiced in Tuesday’s morning skate and could return tonight.

• Malkin has been placed on IR, and he has not played since a 3-2 (OT) loss to PHI on Jan. 20.

• The Pens are now 9-0-1 in their last 10 games in which both Crosby and Malkin HAVE NOT played, dating back to 2011.

• Patric Hornqvist (lower-body – missed 11 games) and Kris Letang (head – missed 1 game) returned to the lineup last night and provided an instant boost for PIT.

• Hornqvist hadn’t played since Dec. 27, and scored his 14th goal (empty-net goal) this season.

• Letang missed last Wednesday’s game after taking a hard check from Zac Rinaldo the day before (Rinaldo was suspended 8 games for the hit). In his return last night, Letang assisted on all 5 Penguins goals – a career high for both assists and points in a game. He is the first defenseman with 5 assists in a game since Dion Phaneuf for CGY in Dec. 2007.

• Lapierre, 29, is in 10th NHL season (now 5th NHL team). Pens GM Jim Rutherford cited Lapierre’s grit, playoff history, and ability to replace Goc on the penalty kill as reasons for the deal (see pg.3 for quotes).

• Washington hitting a slide: The Caps have now lost 4 straight games (0-3-1 record) following their 4-3 loss in Columbus last night. This comes directly after a six-week stretch in which the Capitals earned points in 18 of 19 games (14-1-4 record from Dec. 4 to Jan. 14).

• Team defense has slipped for WSH – it has allowed 4+ goals in all 4 games during the losing streak.


• Ovechkin was held without a point yesterday vs. CBJ, but he has 11 goals in his last 12 games (11G-4A).

• Ovechkin is t-1st in the NHL in power play goals (12, w/ Joe Pavelski of SJ). Ovechkin has led the NHL in PPG each of the last 2 seasons.

• Crosby has gone 2 straight games without a point. His longest stretch without a point this season was a 3-game span from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4.


• David Perron has been productive since he was acquired from EDM; after a goal and an assist last night, he now has 9 pts (6G-3A) in 9 gms with the Pens.

• He now has more goals with the Pens than he did the entire first half of the season with the Oilers.

• Thomas Greiss stopped 19 of 22 shots last night in the win.

• Marc-Andre Fleury last played a week ago in a 3-2 (SO) loss to CHI; he stopped 24 of 26 shots. Fleury is on a personal 3-game losing streak (0-2-1 record), and since Dec. 22, he has won just 3 of 12 starts.


• Nicklas Backstrom had an assist last night – the 400th of his career – to extent his point streak to 4 games (2G-4A).

• John Carlson had an assist last night to extend his point streak to 3 games (0G-4A). He ranks t-4th among NHL d-men in points (35), and t-2nd in assists (30).

• Through 47 GP, Carlson has already tied his career-high for assists w/ 30, and he is just 2 points away from his career-high of 37.

• Carlson also leads WSH in TOI/G at 23:21.

• Earlier in the month, Braden Holtby set a franchise record by appearing in 27 straight games from Nov. 18 to Jan. 16. This is also the longest consecutive games played streak by a goalie in the NHL this season.

• Holtby is 1 win away from tying his career-high of 23, done in each of the past two seasons.

• Holtby has allowed 4 goals in each of his last 3 starts (0-2-1 record), including his 4 GA on 30 shots last night in the loss to CBJ.

• Holtby had a 31-save shutout vs. PIT in the first meeting this season on Dec. 27.

Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended eight games for his hit on Letang

Zac Rinaldo

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has suspended Philadelphia Flyers’ forward Zac Rinaldo eight games for his hit on Kris Letang.

He will lose $73,170.72 in salary during the suspension.

Rinaldo received a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for his hit during the first period of the Flyers’ 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 20.

Rinaldo waived his right to an in-person heading and had a phone hearing on Monday.

The 24-year-old is considered a repeat offender.

He was suspended four games last season for his hit on Sabres’ defenseman Chad Ruhwedel.

Rinaldo received a two-game suspension for dangerous hit on Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson in February 2012.

Letang, who is believed to have suffered a concussion as a result of the Rinaldo hit, practiced Monday and could be an option for the Penguins Tuesday when they play host to the Winnipeg Jets.

Rinaldo is eligible to return to the Flyers’ lineup on Feb. 17 when Philadelphia plays host to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Malkin on IR, Crosby misses skate, Letang practices (Updated)

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were both absent for the All-Star Game due to lower-body injuries. Now that the regular season is set to resume, the question is how much more time will they miss.

Malkin has been placed on the injured reserve list, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari, although that might be primarily a paper move. It’s likely retroactive Jan. 20, which means that he’s still eligible to play on Wednesday against Washington (NBCSN, 8:00 p.m. ET). With that in mind, the bigger news might be that he didn’t practice Monday.

Crosby wasn’t on the ice either, although that was anticipated. He’s not eligible to play Tuesday after skipping the All-Star festivities, but he’s also a possibility for Wednesday’s contest.

In contrast to the star duo, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was able to take part in Monday’s practice. It’s believed that he sustained a concussion due to a hit from Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo. The Flyers forward had a hearing today, but the NHL hasn’t announced the verdict yet.

Update: Letang hopes to play Tuesday, but Penguins coach Mike Johnston cautioned that he hasn’t received medical clearance yet, per the team’s Twitter feed. Johnston also doesn’t think Malkin will skate for a few days.

Report: Letang (concussion/neck) out indefinitely

Kris Letang

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang reportedly suffered a concussion on a hit from Flyers’ forward Zac Rinaldo.

Hockey insider Darren Dreger says Letang showed symptoms of a concussion Tuesday night and had a stiff neck on Wednesday morning.

Letang still skated in an optional practice Wednesday morning, but did not play against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 27-year-old has a history of concussion issues. According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, Letang is out indefinitely.

Evgeni Malkin, who also missed the Penguins 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks, is expected to miss this weekend’s all star game with an undisclosed injury according to Shannon.

The Pittsburg Penguins have five days off before retuning to action Jan. 27 against the Winnipeg Jets.

Letang out vs. Blackhawks (Updated)

Kris Letang

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will miss tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks with an undisclosed injury.

Letang was the recipient of a hit from Flyers’ forward Zac Rinaldo during the first period of Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime loss. Letang left the game immediately and did not return.

The 27-year-old took the team’s optional morning skate Wednesday and coach Mike Johnston called Letang a game-time decision for tonight.


After injuries limited Letang to just 37 games last season, he’s appeared in 40 games this season averaging over 25 minutes a night in ice time while registering nine goals and 32 points. Letang missed action in December due to a groin injury.

In missing tonight’s game, Letang will now have six days off before the Penguins return to action following the all star break on Jan. 27 against the Winnipeg Jets.