Game 35 Preview: Maple Leafs Vs. Penguins
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to extend their winning streak to four games when they play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night at CONSOL Energy Center.
In their most recent game, the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1, but the already depleted roster took another couple of hits.
In the first period, Deryk Engelland was assessed a match penalty for a hit to the head of Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader. Engelland was ejected as a result of the match penalty and the Penguins were forced to play with five defensemen for the remainder of the contest.
Engelland will now face an in-person hearing with the Department of Player Safety on Wednesday, where he will likely face a suspension of more than five games.
The Penguins also watched Evgeni Malkin suffer a lower-body injury after crashing feet-first into the boards while breaking up a 2-on-1 chance in the third period.
Malkin stayed down behind the Penguins’ net for a few minutes before trying to get up. While he was able to get back to his skates initially, he immediately collapsed again and was seen favoring his left leg as he was helped off the ice.
His status for tonight’s game is not yet known.
Before the game, it was announced that Kris Letang had suffered a upper-body injury and would not suit up against Detroit.
As a result, the Penguins were without Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Rob Scuderi and Letang on the blue line.
Today, the Penguins called up Philip Samuelsson and Harry Zolnierczyk from Wikes-Barre/Scranton.
The team also announced that Letang had been placed on the injured reserve list.
As for the Maple Leafs, they enter today’s game having lost three of four. However, they did knock off the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3 in their most recent game.
Phil Kessel leads the way for Toronto with 17 goals and 32 points. Kessel is also tied with James van Riemsdyk for the team lead with five power play goals.
In goal, Jonathan Bernier continues to enjoy a solid season between the pipes. He has appeared in 23 games and holds a 10-10-2 record to go along with a 2.55 GAA and a .925 save percentage. While the record and GAA could be better, he’s stopping a lot of pucks.
His only appearance against the Penguins came back on Nov. 27, when he allowed five goals on 48 shots in a 6-5 shootout loss.
For Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby added to his league-leading point total Saturday night by lighting the lamp twice. Crosby now has 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 34 games.
Chris Kunitz is trailing Crosby by just one goal and has also added 16 assists this season.
In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury (18-8-1, 2.01 GAA .924 save percentage) stole the show in his most recent outing against the Devils on Friday.
Pittsburgh jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period in the contest, but the Devils outshot them 32-11 the rest of the way. Fleury finished with 37 saves in the win.
Against Toronto, Fleury is 13-9-3 with a 3.23 GAA and a .888 save percentage.
This will be the final meeting of the regular season between the two clubs. So far, the home team has won both of the previous games.
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