Dec 19, 2013, 10:16 PM EDT
Over the years, the Pittsburgh Penguins have grown accustomed to asking other players to step up while key players miss time with injuries. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that the team keeps chugging along despite significant contributors on the mend.
The Penguins won their sixth game in a row (and ninth consecutive game at home) as they handled the Minnesota Wild 5-2.
Pittsburgh enjoyed contributions from the usual suspects (two assists for Sidney Crosby, one goal apiece for Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis), yet the team’s lesser known defensemen also enjoyed great nights. Matt Niskanen scored a goal and an assist, but the real highlight was young blueliner Olli Maatta (pictured). He collected two assists and scored on an unlikely penalty shot:
It wasn’t such a festive evening for the Wild, however. Head coach Mike Yeo didn’t lay the blame merely at Niklas Backstrom‘s feet, bluntly stating that “We stunk,” according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo. He wasn’t alone in that assessment.
“They were ready to play. We weren’t,” Mikko Koivu said. “We just need to be better, starting with myself.”
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 21
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 16
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 27
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 61
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 3
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation 61
- Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off 52
- Report: Leafs sign Franson to one year, $3.3 million deal 8
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M 58
- Report: Blue Jackets, Johansen make ‘significant progress’ toward deal 5
- Kane, Toews could’ve commanded $13.8M cap hits, says agent (83)
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- Babcock: Cleary a ‘calculated risk’ after playing last year ‘on one leg’ (70)
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (65)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)