The Pittsburgh Penguins organizational depth will be tested again Sunday when the Penguins face the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena Sunday night, 5 p.m. It will be the fourth preseason game for the Penguins, who lost Saturday in Columbus, 3-1.
However, the Saturday loss was not without merit. The Penguins young roster showed well against the more experienced, NHL-heavy Columbus roster. Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola was credited with the Penguins goal, but the Penguins outshot Columbus (25-22) and had plenty of scoring chances. A couple of mistakes and a one-in-a-million bounce off Penguins defenseman Erik Gudbranson spotted Columbus three goals.
The Penguins will again roll-out a young roster Sunday and again play without their top centers, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Presumed fourth line center Teddy Blueger will be the top center Sunday. Sam Lafferty will play his fourth consecutive game, as will fellow prospect John Marino. Anthony Angello has also been getting a good look.
Tristan Jarry will get his first preseason start and turn in the battle for the backup goalie position. Emil Larmi backed up DeSmith on Saturday, but DeSmith will be looking over Jarry’s shoulder Sunday.
Jarry, 24, is unlikely to unseat DeSmith for the backup role. DeSmith has well outperformed Jarry over their short NHL careers. However, the Penguins have two more preseason games after Sunday and if Jarry were to have a couple of stellar performances, that could give the Penguins coaches something to think about. The Penguins also have about $475,000 reasons to consider Jarry, too.
Our Editor-in-Chief Dan Kingerski will have a complete breakdown of the performances and game on PHN later tonight. If you haven’t already, subscribe to PHN+ for more in-depth analysis, exclusive content and insightful hockey coverage. Click here to join.
Pittsburgh Penguins Roster: