There were some who wondered if Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel was dependent upon linemate Sidney Crosby. Those whispers or wonders should be quelled as Guentzel has been every bit as good, if not better playing beside Penguins center Evgeni Malkin.
Saturday night, Guentzel appeared to suffer an injury about three minutes into the game. Guentzel was seen grimacing on the bench after he was slow to get off the ice.
Given the Penguins who are the second most injured team in the NHL, and most significantly injured are playing the Detroit Red Wings who “lead’ the league in man-games lost, another injury would not surprise either team.
However, rather than succumb to injury, Guentzel scored his 16th goal of the season. Malkin passed up the shot in the slot, Guentzel crashed the net. The Penguins winger slid into Detroit goalie Jonathan Bernier. The referees initially waved off the goal, but upon realizing the puck was in the net, it was called a goal.
After a lengthy review for kicking, Detroit declined to challenge for interference and Guentzel’s goal stood. The Penguins are attempting to win their third straight game after back to back shutouts over St. Louis and Arizona on Wednesday and Friday nights.
Jake Guentzel has scored nine goals since Crosby left the lineup with a sports hernia. Malkin has assisted on seven of those tallies.