The Pittsburgh Penguins (26-21-3) host Matt Cullen, the man they called “Dad,” and the Minnesota Wild (26-17-5), at 7 pm.
Matt Cullen, who played only two seasons in Pittsburgh but left an indelible mark as both an unexpected on-ice contributor and locker room figure, will undoubtedly get one of the loudest ovations of the season. Expect a video tribute, standing ovation, and lots of fans suffering from “dust” in their eye.
Cullen scored 29 regular season goals in his Penguins career and six playoff goals.
Rookie goaltender Casey DeSmith will make his fourth straight start for the Penguin. He is 2-1 in his previous three starts and allowed a total of four goals. Counting a decision which came in relief, DeSmith is 2-2 with a 1.86 Goals Against Average, and .935 save percentage.
In the last three games, DeSmith has stopped 96 of 100 shots.
Ride the hot hand. Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s John Perrotto spoke with DeSmith yesterday. We’ll have that feature story tomorrow.
Read John’s fun feature today as Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist recount their first goal, and everyone ribs J.S. Dea about his first tally.
It is ’80’s night at the arena. Fortunately, that’s also the last time many Pittsburgh writers bought a suit.
Ironic for a bunch of talking heads, eh? As the days go by…
The Penguins are 4-1 at home, this month. They were 4-1 in January 2017 and 5-0-1 in January 2016.
DeSmith’s three-game string is statistically the best of any Penguins goalie this season. Really.
Sidney Crosby is tied with Jaromir Jagr for second on the all-time Penguins scoring list. You get 66 guesses who is first. Crosby is also stuck on 399 career goals.
Crosby’s 17 points (3g-14a) this month rank second in the NHL, one behind Brad Marchand. Perhaps Crosby will pass Marchand and Marchand’s elbow in the next five games.
The Penguins are clinging to a playoff position. The New York hockey clubs, Islanders, and Rangers, are both two points behind with one game in hand. Even if those teams won that extra game, the Penguins would own the tiebreaker via wins in regulation.
Minnesota has won the last three meetings with the Penguins.
The New York Rangers have two scouts in attendance; the Pittsburgh based scout (former Penguins company man Rick Kehoe) and a second. The Wild do not appear on the Rangers schedule until mid-February.
Also in attendance, for the second straight game are the Winnipeg Jets. The L.A. Kings are scouting the Pens for the third consecutive game.
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Big news for PHN is finally at hand! …Stay tuned.