After a few days of scrimmaging, camp tiebreakers and conditioning drills the Pittsburgh Penguins begin their preseason adventures tonight in Buffalo at the Key Bank Center. The Penguins lineup only a handful of expected NHL roster players but also a couple players who are battling for a roster spot. Rostered defensemen Olli Maatta and Chad Ruhwedel will make the trip as will rostered forwards Jake Guentzel, Daniel Sprong, Dominik Simon, and Derek Grant.
Players on the bubble, Zach Aston-Reese, and Jimmy Hayes will also skate against Buffalo.
Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry will be the goaltenders.[table “13” not found /]
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DeSmith and Jarry are battling for the backup goalie job. DeSmith, 27, likely has a slight edge based solely on the Penguins desire for Jarry, 23, to continue developing with regular playing time which will only be available with the WBS Penguins.
Juuso Riikola, a Finnish defenseman signed this offseason will also be in the lineup. Riikola, 24, played the last six seasons for Kalpal Kuopio in the Finnish league. Last season, he scored 24 points (8g, 16a) in 59 games.