The injuries keep mounting for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Saturday night, forward Jared McCann was again out of the lineup and the Penguins faced the Vegas Golden Knights with only 11 forwards. McCann played Friday night against Dallas but missed Wednesday night and the Penguins 3-2 OT win over the Colorado Avalanche.
McCann missed the game Wednesday due to a potentially nagging injury, which the Penguins chose to hold him out as a precaution. The Penguins did not announce if McCann is out because he re-aggravated that injury or because he was hit near the elbow by a shot Friday night.
The Penguins were forced to again use defenseman Juuso Riikola as a fourth-line winger. Riikola laughed about his performance Wednesday night, but he’ll be pressed into duty once again as the Penguins are still carrying nine defensemen and only 12 forwards.
The Penguins fourth line was Riikola–Joseph Blandisi–Adam Johnson.
The team currently has five injured forwards: Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk, Nick Bjugstad, Bryan Rust and now McCann.
The Penguins also reinserted Erik Gudbranson back into the lineup
and made Jack Johnson a healthy scratch. Just before puck drop, the Penguins also listed defenseman Brian Dumoulin as a scratch, and Jack Johnson was reinserted into the lineup on the top pair with Kris Letang.
Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury just can’t help himself in Pittsburgh. After tangling TV host Dan Potash’s mic cables before the game, Fleury lingered on the ice after warmups, which prevented old friend Kris Letang from being the last off the ice. Letang took an extra lap as the warmup horn sounded, but saw Fleury camped out near the Vegas bench, unwilling to leave.
Letang gave in to the mischevious prank and softly shot a puck towards Fleury who gloved it to big cheers from the Pittsburgh crowd.
The Penguins are 2-0 against Vegas in Pittsburgh, and the Penguins have won five games in a row, including Friday against Dallas.
Tristan Jarry will start in net for the Penguins.