PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins winger Zach Aston-Reese was finding his stride in the NHL. The Penguins fourth line with he, Matt Cullen and Riley Sheahan was contributing offense and shutting down opposing top lines. He even scored a goal at Madison Square Garden, in hometown New York City. He was playing well and doing so to rave reviews.
Aston-Reese, 24, had three points (1g, 2a) in five games. On Jan. 8, he dished a few strong hits against the Florida Panthers and Colton Sceviour wanted to fight. Aston-Reese gave Sceviour the fight, and more than the Florida forward could handle.
Sometimes between Aston-Reese raining right hands on Sceviour and the two tumbling to the ice, Aston-Reese suffered a fractured hand.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now had to ask. Would he hesitate to fight again?
“Maybe right now,” he laughed. “Just the time being. You don’t want to re-injure it, especially coming back.”
As Aston-Reese answered the question, he subconsciously flexed his hand a few times. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be deterred for long but he won’t seek them out, either…
“It’s more just to defend myself,” he said.
Aston-Reese skated on the Penguins fourth line during the Penguins morning skate, on the left side of Matt Cullen and Garrett Wilson. This season, the rookie winger has 11 points (6g, 5a) in 30 games but was gaining traction.
“I wouldn’t say (I was) at the top of my game,” Aston-Reese said. “I was definitely starting to figure it out offensively; how to get some points and stuff like that. Hopefully, I didn’t lose too much.”
Aston-Reese was signed as undrafted free agent from Northeastern University and played in 16 NHL games last season, then nine more playoff games.