The Pittsburgh Penguins trimmed their training camp roster to 35 players on Saturday morning as the head coach Mike Sullivan funnels toward the start of the regular season against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 12. The Penguins JV squad beat the NHL-laden Buffalo Sabres roster on Friday night 2-1, and a few players earned rave reviews in the process.
However, the prospects may have had their last chance on Friday. Sullivan will dress his NHL roster, with only a few notable exceptions, on Sunday afternoon when the Penguins host the Detroit Red Wings at PPG Paints Arena. The puck drop is at noon
but will not be streamed or televised.
Update: The Penguins website and app will stream the game.
It’s also the annual Free Game for Kids.
After the Pittsburgh Penguins released Matt Bartkowski from his PTO, he signed with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins later on Saturday afternoon.
Defenseman Marcus Pettersson, who played in the first two preseason games, will not dress. Instead, the Penguins will put Juuso Riikola in the lineup. It’s likely more of a showcase than an opportunity for Riikola to supplant Pettersson, who has four years remaining on his contract, which carries a $4.025 million AAV.
The other player of note who will draw into the lineup is Sam Lafferty, whom coaches shuffled to Group 2 in the split practices. Lafferty has played in 84 NHL games over the last two seasons and scored 19 points (6-13-19). He played in the first preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets but took two minor penalties.
Drew O’Connor, who had a strong game on Friday, will also dress.
One camp battle to note: Chad Ruhwedel will dress with the NHL squad on Sunday. Mark Friedman, the other candidate for the third-pair right-side defenseman, did not play on Friday.
The Penguins regular not in the lineup: Zach Aston-Reese remains in the NHL’s COVID protocol. Radim Zohorna and Dominik Simon also will not play Sunday.
Center Brian Boyle, who is in camp on a PTO, will get his first real test surrounded by NHL talent. New Penguins Danton Heinen and Brock McGinn will also get their first game action in a Penguins sweater.
After a stellar performance Friday, Louis Domingue will back up Tristan Jarry.
The Pittsburgh Penguins Lineup:
9 – Evan Rodrigues
10 – Drew O’Connor
11 – Brian Boyle
16 – Jason Zucker
17 – Bryan Rust
18 – Sam Lafferty
23 – Brock McGinn
42 – Kasperi Kapanen
43 – Danton Heinen
53 – Teddy Blueger
59 – Jake Guentzel
77 – Jeff Carter
2 – Chad Ruhwedel
5 – Mike Matheson
6 – John Marino
8 – Brian Dumoulin
50 – Juuso Riikola
58 – Kris Letang
30 – Louis Domingue
35 – Tristan Jarry
The Penguins game should finish well before the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers kick off at 4:25 p.m. DraftKings is offering PHN readers a $150 payout on a $1 bet today. Our expert (and more than a darn fine baseball wrier) John Perrotto broke down the lines, the odds, predictions, and previewed of the game.