ReGameCapDay 22-23: Denisle to New Jersey

The Penguins were in Brooklyn last night to wrap up a home-and-home against the Islanders, who ironically don’t even have a home. The Isles entered the game on something like a 15 consecutive games with a point streak while the Penguins entered the game on a 21 consecutive games with a starter out streak. Which streak would continue in this one? Both. The Penguins made a few pre-game announcements prior to puck drop. They called Zach Trotman up from Wilkes-Barre before announcing that Justin Schultz will be out “longer term” with no time table set. They followed this announcement up by activating and returning Patric Hornqvist to the line-up. They wrapped up their presser by saying Nick Bjugstad underwent core surgery and will be out a minimum of 8 weeks.

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With the return of Hornqvist, absence of Schultz, and activation of Trotman the penguins looked like this to start:

Jake Guentzel, Brandon Tanev, Zach Aston-Reese, Teddy Blueger, Dominik Simon, Marcus Pettersson. That’s the list of skaters who have laced up for all 22 games. 6 skaters. SIX. Coincidentally the amount of Stanley Cups the Penguins will have after this season.

The Penguins had some jump to start this game, which has been a welcome change of pace from the last few weeks. We barely had time to complain about the Honda Pilot taking up prime hockey watching seats at Barclays before Evgeni Malkin got to work.

EVGENI MALKIN (4) Assisted by Guentzel (9) & Marino (6) @ 1:04

The Penguins would get a powerplay 26 seconds later but that went about as well as Tesla’s truck reveal.

The Pens continued pressing play for the majority of the period but couldn’t solve Greiss. Chad Ruhwedel took a hooking penalty at 8:28, which will likely get him benched for the rest of the year. The Penguins killed off that penalty and were rewarded by Marcus Pettersson taking a high sticking penalty thirty seconds later. The Penguins PK again made the kill but the back-to-back powerplays gave the Islanders some life. 

With under five minutes to go in the period the Islanders win a clean offensive zone faceoff, Scott Mayfield took a shot from the point that deflected off Zach Aston-Reese’s stick and behind Murray to tie it up.

This is a great view of the goal. A picture-perfect deflection by ZAR. THe remaining four minutes and change would be played out scoreless and the period ended the way it started.

The Penguins once again came out with some early fire to start a period, and this time it was Bryan Rust continuing his impressive November.

BRYAN RUST (8) @ 1:09

This is a shooters shot right here. Most players would try to go blocker side here, and Greiss made the costly mistake of assuming Bryan Rust was most players.

The Penguins kept pushing but again couldn’t secure that two-goal lead. Around the eight-minute mark, Guentzel got tied up with Scott Mayfield and took a 2-minute roughing penalty. This was okay until the refs tacked on an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct due to Geuntzel arguing the call like every player does. 

The Pens PK made it through the first two minutes, but late in the second half of the kill the Islanders cashed in on yet another fortunate bounce.

In any other NHL game this would’ve been a 2-minute penalty kill, but what can you do. 

The two teams would exchange powerplay opportunities to close out the period, first Malkin took a tripping penalty that the Pens killed. This was followed by Anders Lee tripping Marino which of course was also killed as the period would end the way it started.

For the first time this game the Penguins didn’t score in the first two minutes of a period. The Pens were, for the most part, driving play but weren’t getting any clean looks on Greiss. At the midpoint of the frame Teddy Blueger took a face-off violation penalty. Before the on-air guys on the MSG network could finish making their jokes Brock Nelson interfered with Dumoulin and we went to 4:41 of 4v4 hockey. 

The game opened up, but neither team could capitalize. The Penguins abbreviated 19-second powerplay looked like their usual two-minute powerplays. After returning to 5v5 for a few minutes Sam Lafferty took a lazy tripping penalty at 15:04. With bad penalties come big goals, and the Islanders cashed in after neither team wanted to take control of a faceoff.

After falling behind 3-2, Brandon Tanev was boarded. Well not boarded by NHL standards, but was checked in the numbers while facing the boards, causing him to go face-first into said boards. ZAR took offense and fought Anders Lee, getting his ass kicked while thankfully not re-injuring his hand he broke last year while fighting. The two would get two-minute roughing penalties, also known as two minutes fewer than Guentzel got earlier in the game for less. During the fight Jared McCann jumped into the mix and a linesman threw him into the box, gave him an unsportsmanlike penalty and told him he was done for the night so McCann left. Then it turns out only that linesman knew that he did that, and McCann wasn’t charged a penalty. Just a clusterfuck all around, I would say it’s November and the refs are rusty but it’s the NHL.

After everything was sorted out the Pens pulled Murray with two minutes left. The Islanders announcers were getting giddy about a regulation win, and Patric Hornqvist sent this thing to overtime.

PATRIC HORNQVIST (6) Assisted by Malkin (9) & Dumoulin (6) @ 19:30

Hell of an effort by Hornqvist, who made a bigger splash in his return to the lineup than Alex Galchenyuk has in a Penguins sweater.

Only Barry Trotz could suck the fun out of overtime. After four-minutes of boring carry the puck out of the zone hockey the Islanders would score. The least exciting overtime in the history of 3v3 overtime. 


  • Alex Galchenyuk was brought in for a purpose, he can’t fill that purpose. Chances are he isn’t a Penguin before Christmas
  • I again hold that it isn’t worth getting upset over overtime losses in November when a third of the salary cap is watching from Pittsburgh
  • Really confused why Trotman is wanted over Riikola, but it does free Riikola up as a trade chip if they aren’t going to use him
  • Blaming Murray for this game is kind of dumb
  • Bryan Rust has 8 goals. That is crazy


Apparently the Penguins play today, too. I know, caught me by surprise as well! The game is at 7 pm. It’s on NHLN. It’s against the Devils. The lineup is a gametime decision. In all of its wisdom, the league has scheduled to game to take place in Pittsburgh even though both teams were closer to New Jersey yesterday. Insert more witty banter here. Get your mind right. Quit pouting over an overtime loss. pens win 7-1 tonight. Get some bourbon. Get some pizza. Friday night hockey. Get Some.