Penguins destined to win final home game of the year


In their final game of the year at Consol Energy Center, the Pittsburgh Penguins (17-15-3) will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (13-15-7) at 7PM EST on ROOT Sports.

Penguins defensemen Kris Letang is set to return to the lineup tonight, after taking a hit to the head from Minnesota Wild’s Jarrett Stoll on Satruday. Letang followed concussion protocol, but his results came back negative. The 28 year old star defensemen from Montreal sat out Sunday’s game for precautionary reasons, but should be back to full strength for tonight’s game.

The Penguins will start Matthew Murray in goal tonight, as Marc-Andre Fleury continues to improve from his concussion. Murray has proved he has the potential to be a quality goalie in the NHL, as in his first three starts he’s earned a .934 save percentage.

Unfortunately for Murray, when Fleury returns to the lineup he could be demoted back down to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team. This would be simply because he wouldn’t get a lot of playing time as a backup for Fleury, so it might be a better move at this point to keep Murray on the development team where he can start every night and then have goalie Jeff Zatkoff continue to be Fluery’s backup. 

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“It hasn’t really been spelled out for me but it’s not something I can worry about,” Murray said about the situation, via “It’s out of my control. Obviously things will change when he comes back and what happens is not my decision. So whatever it is I just have to kind of roll with it.”

Pittsburgh enters tonights game following a loss to the Winnipeg Jets, where the Penguins showed great effort but were just unable to find the back of the net. The Maple Leafs are also looking to rebound in tonight’s game, as their previous matchup with the New York Islanders ended in a slaughtering, with a 6-3 loss.

The good news for the Penguins? They’ve won their past seven straight against the Maple Leafs, with four of those coming from home games. Both new and old faces to the Penguins continue to show their worth, as Evgeni Malkin has scored 11 goals in his last ten home games, and new acquisition Trevor Daley has settled in well as a defensemen in Pittsburgh.

“My main focus is to help the team win,” Daley said on his playing time so far with the Penguins. “When it results in wins, your fit becomes a little better.”

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Hopefully Daley can help get the Penguins a win tonight and improve on his already stellar play so far in his first few games.