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Penguins Pregame #2, Split Squad vs. Blue Jackets; What to Watch

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Pittsburgh Penguins, P.O Joseph

COLUMBUS — A new trend emerged in the NHL this preseason. Teams are playing split-squad games to get more ice time for their younger players. It’s not quite a day-night doubleheader because the games are occurring in opposing cities, but the Pittsburgh Penguins, with more NHL regulars, beat the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier on Sunday, 3-2 in OT. Sunda evening, the Penguins hopefuls and minor-league-bound players face a more NHL-heavy Columbus squad Sunday night at Nationwide Arena.

Dave Molinari covered the first leg of the twin bill in Pittsburgh. Get the Penguins postgame and analysis here.

Penguins management, Brian Burke (President of Hockey Operations), Ron Hextall (GM), and coach Mike Sullivan are making a beeline from Pittsburgh to Columbus via car (or SUV?). Wonder who will control the radio?

In Game 1, the Penguins split time in goal between Casey DeSmith and Filip Lindberg. Expect Dustin Tokarski to start and Gauthier to play the second 30 minutes.

Pittsburgh Penguins roster for Game 2:

Head Coach – Todd Reirden

Assistant Coaches – Ty Hennes and Sheldon Brookbank

GOALIES
33 – Taylor Gauthier
40 – Dustin Tokarski

DEFENSE
4 – Taylor Fedun
32 – Mitch Reinke
37 – Jack St. Ivany
55 – Chris Ortiz
61 – Xavier Ouellet
73 – P.O Joseph
74 – Ryan McCleary

FORWARDS
15 – Josh Archibald
18 – Drake Caggiula
19 – Alex Nylander
25 – Ryan Poehling
34 – Nathan Legare
39 – Sam Houde
43 – Danton Heinen
46 – Jordan Frasca
51 – Ty Glover
63 – Radim Zohorna
72 – Lukas Svejkovsky
80 – Raivis Ansons

What to Watch:

The Penguins have several players fighting for an NHL spot and fighting to emerge from a crowded training camp on Roster 2. Notably, P.O Joseph is on the second squad. After three AHL seasons, he enters his fourth professional year, and if he doesn’t make the NHL roster, the team must expose him to waivers to send him to the WBS Penguins.

It’s doubtful that he clears. In short, it’s probably make-or-break time for his Penguins career. Read Shelly Anderson’s profile from Saturday. P.O Joseph understands the situation.

Josh Archibald and Drake Caggiula are also on Squad 2. Both are among several forwards fighting for the 12th and 13th forward spots. Four men enter, two men leave.

Caggiula is recovering from neck surgery last February. He trained with Gary Roberts this summer, and unofficially, I have Caggiula ahead on the scorecard that also includes Ryan Poehling and Drew O’Connor. Perhaps 2019 first-round pick Sam Poulin could enter the conversation, too.

Poehling will also play in the second game.

A couple of Penguins prospects worth watching in their first preseason action will be Raivis Ansons and Lukas Svejkovsky, the latter has not stood out in training camp, but Ansons seems to be getting stronger.

Svejkovsky is a slippery little winger with plenty of offensive talent. Ansons is still finding his complete game. He is defensively responsible but might have some power-forward potential, too.

Jack St. Ivany has been an interesting watch in training camp. He’s had some smooth moments. College free agent Ty Glover (Western Michigan) also seems to have an energy that draws eyes and action when he’s on the ice. He’s 6-foot-3, nearly 200 pounds, and isn’t bashful. For those who keep eyes on prospects

Penguins Lines

Heinen-Poehling-Archibald

Caggiula-Zohorna-Nylander

Ansons-Houde-Legare

Glover-Frasca-Svejkovsky

Defense:

Oullett-St.Ivany

Joseph-Fedun

Ortiz-Reinke

Goalies:

Tokarski

Gauthier

How to Watch:

It appears you can watch Game 2 on the Penguins website (for U.S. audiences only). Here is the Penguins’ website.

Alternate: The feed is already listed on the Columbus Blue Jackets website.

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