Mike Sullivan’s Pittsburgh Penguins remain without a win, but showed promise for future games.
The Penguins fell to the Boston Bruins 6-2 Friday night in the second half of a home-home doubleheader at the Consol Energy Center.
“As I said to them after the game, this league is unforgiving,” head coach Mike Sullivan said following the game. “We have to pull up our boot straps. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We can’t get discouraged. We have to be more determined. We have to to rely on each other and we have to help each other.”
It was only the second night in the NHL for Pens prospect Conor Sheary, and he was already given the opportunity to play among the stars as he made his first appearance on the first line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. Sheary’s opponent for the night was goaltender Tukka Rask, who has done a fantastic job recently for the Bruins.
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However, Rask does have one weak spot in his game, his ability to save the puck when the shot comes from right in front of him. His save percentage on shots coming from close to the net was at .762 percent coming into the contest. Sheary was able to use that vulnerable point to sink his first NHL goal of his career.
Sheary wasn’t the only new guy to show off his skills Friday, as defenseman Trevor Daley was also recorded a goal, his first ever as a Penguin. Daley recorded four shots in the night, all of which showed the precision of a seasoned veteran. If there was any remorse about trading away Rob Scuderi, Daley for sure proved he can be a big time contributor still tonight.
The new guys for sure helped some of the injury troubles the Pens are currently faced with. However, there was just one hole the Pens couldn’t solve, the loss of Marc-Andre Fleury.
Backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff made a few impressive saves during the course of the night, but still at the end of the day let in six goals. The goals weren’t entirely his fault, as the defense of the Penguins did next to nothing to help him out.
Zatkoff will almost certainly get the night off in the following game, and we should see the premiere of top goalie prospect Matt Murray, who is quite possibly the best goaltender to come out of Pittsburgh since Fleury himself.
The Pens special teams continued to struggle out on the ice, as they allowed a shorthanded goal and a power-play goal. They also failed to convert on all five of their power-play chances (although Daley’s goal came just seconds after a power-play).
The Penguins hopefully can get coach Sullivan his first win tomorrow night as they face the Carolina Hurricanes. The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST on ROOT.