That didn’t take long for the Pittsburgh Penguins to recall top defenseman prospect P.O. Joseph.
One game into the season, and LHD Mike Matheson is nursing a nagging injury. Matheson took part in the morning skate on Tuesday, but head coach Mike Sullivan immediately declared him out day-to-day.
Mark Friedman filled in capably against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Penguins’ 6-2 win. Friedman had several would-be assists from nice dishes on the rush.
The Penguins need a depth defenseman, but will it be the right-handed Friedman who returns to the press box or the 22-year-old left-handed Joseph?
Joseph played in three preseason games. Last season, he played 16 NHL games for the Pittsburgh Penguins– his first NHL games. He scored one goal, four assists, and five points (1-4-5). He scored an assist in his NHL debut on Jan. 22 against the New York Rangers and had a three-point game (0-3-3) against New York on Jan. 30.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman turned pro with the WBS Penguins in 2019-20. He scored 17 points (3g-14a) in 52 games. In total, Joseph has accumulated 30 points (4-26-30) in 75 career AHL games.
The Penguins acquired him from Arizona as the centerpiece return for winger Phil Kessel. Joseph and Juuso Riikola were the last defensemen the Penguins sent to WBS.
Joseph’s brother Mathieu was in the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup on Tuesday.
To make roster room, the Penguins sent Anthony Angello to the WBS. Angello cleared waivers last weekend and will not have to pass through waivers to report to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The Penguins practice in Florida today. They will visit the Florida Panthers on Thursday. The Penguins beat the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay, 6-2. The Penguins scored three empty-net goals after gaining leads of 3-0 and 4-2.