Ugly. There are few words that could as aptly describe the Pittsburgh Penguins performance against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night. The Penguins started in the hole with seven defensemen who played on a rotating pairing basis, and only 11 forwards who also had to rotate to fill a blank in the middle of the fourth line. If it reads ugly, it looked even worse in the second period. The Penguins had rhythm early but found it again too late and lost to the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 at PPG Paints Arena Tuesday.
To add insult to mounting injuries, Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist was plunked by a shot as he stood in front of the Winnipeg net. Hornqvist limped off the ice, eventually went to the locker room and did not return. Head coach Mike Sullivan said Hornqvist was being evaluated and they will have more news tomorrow.
However, two Penguins made their NHL debuts. Defenseman John Marino and the Hollidaysburg kid Sam Lafferty bolted from the runway in pregame warmups only to realize their teammates were not with them. It’s a time-honored hockey practical joke. PHN graded both Lafferty and Marino in the Report Card section.