The Pittsburgh Penguins got some help in the standings Wednesday as a couple of their closest rivals lost in regulation. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan is evaluating his options to replace Noel Acciari in the middle of the fourth line. And the Penguins might face Marc-Andre Fleury for the final time tonight. Also in the Daily, TSN ranks the top five players available on the NHL trade block, and Mikhail Sergachev had surgery after a gruesome leg injury and a soul-bearing social media post.
Today is the day. After Marc-Andre Fleury wreaked havoc in the Penguins locker room during his December visit to Pittsburgh, I asked Sidney Crosby if Fleury got him, too. Fleury did, but the next words Crosby spoke were surprising. I’m paraphrasing as I don’t recall the exact words, but he said, I have to get him. I have some plans.
Today is that day.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Noel Acciari was concussed by the Brenden Dillon hit. Evgeni Malkin was also absent. The Penguins practice report.
PHN+: Mike Sullivan could put Colin White in the middle. He could move Jeff Carter back to the fourth-line center. Sullivan has options, and here’s what he said after practice and what he could do with the Penguins lineup.
And is it au revoir, Marc-Andre? This might be the Penguins’ final chance to say honor … and score on Marc-Andre Fleury.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
TSN Insiders: The Edmonton Oilers want a top-six forward, and if Jake Guentzel isn’t on the menu, who else is available?
TSN video: Analysts Mike Johnson and Frankie Corrado rank the top five players, including Jakob Chychrun and Guentzel, available at the NHL trade deadline.
Sportsnet: Mikhail let it rip from the heart on Thursday after suffering a terrible leg injury Tuesday night. Sergachev had surgery to stabilize his tibia. He’s out for quite a while and his emotions were raw.
Now to the ice…
Florida Hockey Now: This might have been the dagger in the Washington Capitals. They lost their sixth straight as the Florida Panthers did the deed Thursday.
New Jersey Hockey Now: Jack Hughes returned, BUT … Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Devils play well. Devils lose because of shoddy goaltending. Yep, here’s how it went down as the Calgary Flames took two from the New Jersey Devils.
Philly Hockey Now: At some point, the Flyers are like Jason Voorhies. They won’t die. Travis Konecny had a Gordie Howe hat trick, Sam Ersson stopped lots of pucks, and here are the takeaways after the Philadelphia Flyers beat Winnipeg.
Between Winnipeg and Colorado, neither is helping the Penguins very much on their trip through the Metro Division.
The Islanders beat Tampa Bay, thus forcing the Penguins to win to keep pace in that battle. The crowd was chanting for Patrick Roy and the New York Islanders put all together.