The Rink Report: Pens Fall in Division With Loss to Avalanche

Written By Anthony Cugini, Sports Columnist

The Pittsburgh Penguins lost to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday by a score of 3-2.

The Pens lost to arguably the best team in the NHL due to a late goal from Colorado defenseman Devon Toews, which gave the Avalanche the lead. Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper continued his great season against Pittsburgh by stopping 38 of the Penguins’ 40 shots. 

Pittsburgh got their scoring from goals from Sidney Crosby and Mike Matheson. Jake Guentzel also had two assists as he contributed to both of Pittsburgh’s goals. 

Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry played well as he stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced, though it wasn’t enough to lead the Pens to a win. 

The Pens’ loss comes two days after a huge win over the Minnesota Wild in which Evgeni Malkin scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Newly acquired Rickard Rakell scored twice in the win which gives him five points through his first seven games as a Penguin.

The Pens saw Jason Zucker return to the lineup in Minnesota on Thursday after missing nearly two months due to injury. In his first game back, Zucker assisted a goal in the first period. Unfortunately, Zucker took an awkward hit later in the game that sent him to the locker room with an apparent injury which left him unable to put any weight onto his right leg. There’s no official statement on his injury though the coaching staff did say they were optimistic about his return.

The loss to the Avalanche sends Pittsburgh down to third place in the Metropolitan division. The New York Rangers sit one point ahead of the Penguins despite having played one less game than Pittsburgh. Though the Penguins are well clear of a wild card spot as they sit eight points ahead of the fourth-place Capitals. 

Pittsburgh will have a chance to redeem themselves as they have another meeting with the Avalanche on Tuesday. Colorado currently leads all of hockey with 104 points on the season.