Rookie Zatkoff to start one of Penguins’ next two games

7 Comments

Rookie goalie Jeff Zatkoff will make his NHL debut either Friday or Saturday when his undefeated Penguins travel to Florida for games against the Panthers and Lightning, respectively.

Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma confirmed the plan today.

Marc-Andre Fleury will get the other start, of course.

Zatkoff has put up good numbers during multiple seasons in the AHL. The 26-year-old was installed as the Pens’ backup after it was learned veteran Tomas Vokoun would be out 3-6 months with a blood-clot issue.

“I want to go with the goaltending we have here and see how we do,” general manager Ray Shero said last week. “Like anything, you’ll evaluate as you go. Since Tomas has been out I know who every available free agent goalie is because I’ve gotten calls from their agents and other teams.

“Right now I want to go with this and see how we do. I want to give Jeff the opportunity, which I think he’s deserved.”

In other team news, injured defenseman Kris Letang (lower body) skated for almost an hour today and will accompany the team to Florida. However, he’ll have to return to full practice before he’s a candidate to return to the lineup.