The Pittsburgh Penguins apparently cannot have nice things. Monday afternoon, the NHL named Penguins winger Jake Guentzel as the Penguins NHL All-Star representative. Monday night, Guentzel scored the figurative backbreaking fifth goal in the Penguins 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, but bad luck again beset the Penguins.
Before Guentzel could celebrate the score, he tangled with Ottawa defenseman Thomas Chabot and slammed face-first into the boards. Guentzel bent backward in an unnatural way, and his grimace was immediate. Head coach Mike Sullivan did not lay blame on the contact.
“I saw the replays. It looked to me like incidental contact,” Sullivan said.
Guentzel scored his 20th goal of the season, then slowly skated off the ice, hunched over in pain. He went directly to the Penguins locker room.
— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) December 31, 2019
Guentzel has played in all 39 games this season, but his status for Thursday at home against San Jose is unknown. Head coach Mike Sullivan didn’t have information on the injury following the game.
“It was scary,” Sullivan said in his postgame media availability. “Those are always dangerous when someone falls from that distance into the boards. There’s not a status on him right now, he’s being evaluated by our doctors right now.”
The Penguins 25-year-old winger is one of the few players to play in all 39 games, and he leads the Penguins in all major offensive categories. Guentzel has 20 goals and 43 points after he scored one goal and two assists on Monday night.
The Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 at PPG Paints Arena. The game was marred by chippiness, especially towards the end when Brady Tkachuk continued to agitate Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and a melee ensued in the final seconds. Referees assessed Tkachuk, Ottawa defenseman Matt Borowiecki and Penguins winger Bryan Rust 10-minute misconduct penalties. Malkin and Ottawa forward J.G. Pageau received minor penalties.
The Penguins host the San Jose Sharks on Thursday at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins may have an update on Jake Guentzel on Tuesday morning after practice at their Cranberry Township facility.