It took seven games for Pittsburgh Penguins rookie P-O Joseph to score his first NHL goal and it was a beauty.
With the Pittsburgh Penguins trailing against the New York Islanders 1-0 in the first period, Joseph sprang the Penguins rush then took a pass from Jake Guentzel. Joseph sniped a puck past goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Here’s a look at that goal:
This was his fifth total point of the season after he started his NHL career with four assists. His first point came in his NHL debut against the New York Rangers on Jan. 22 before he had three assists in one game against them on Jan. 30. Joseph also was elevated to the top pairing during that game, and the one on Feb. 1 when he played over 24 minutes.
Coming into this season, Joseph was behind eight other defensemen on the depth chart. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Mike Matheson in a trade with the Florida Panthers, while Juuso Riikola and Chad Ruhwedel also were ahead of him on the depth chart. That’s not likely to be the case anymore, especially with the play he’s played thus far.
P-O Joseph was originally acquired in the Phil Kessel deal when the Penguins dealt Kessel to Arizona in the summer of 2019. While it’s unlikely that Joseph will have top-pairing minutes once usual Kris Letang partner Brian Dumoulin returns to the lineup from injury, there’s a good chance he’ll be getting second-pairing minutes with John Marino. That would allow the Penguins to bump Marcus Pettersson down to the third-pairing with Chad Ruhwedel.
Joseph played about 26 minutes against the New York Rangers in the Penguins last two games.
Despite Joseph’s outstanding goal, the Penguins trailed 2-1 after the first period against the Islanders. Penguin killer Jordan Eberle was able to score both of their goals.