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Pittsburgh Penguins Forward Drew O'Connor sticking handling against NY Islanders defenseman Mike Reilly in the game Tuesday Night at PPG Paints Arena
Photo credit: NHL - Pittsburgh Penguins

Dark Horse Emerges That Could Play a Bigger Part in the Penguins Lineup

Published February 22, 2024 at 12:56
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The Pittsburgh Penguins are set to take on the Montreal Canadians tonight at PPG Paints Arena. Although they showed some spark against the visiting Islanders Tuesday night, they eventually lost the game and the extra point.

So they enter tonight battle with Montreal with two straight home losses, they hope the third time is the charm in turning that around to a win.

Here are a couple of factors that could play a part in this game.

Drew O'Connor Has Stepped Up and is Having a Career Year




O'Connor has gotten the most opportunity this year since being with the club. He already has a career high games played with Pittsburgh, and career high stats to go with it. He has primarily played on the Malkin line and is a +8 this year with 30 games left to go. He has 3 points in the last 4 games, and they will need O'Connor to produce in the game tonight.

Montreal's Juraj Slafkovsky Will Be Someone the Penguins Need to Watch Out For



The most recent number one pick for the Canadians is Juraj Slafkovsky who has seen improvement in his game. He is not performing just yet to the top level expecations, but with 55 games under his belt he has 30 points, 12 of those goals. The Penguins will need to slow down this up-and-coming star tonight.

Valtteri Puustinen Stands Out In a Field Of Medicore Production in the Bottom Six





Within a field of unproductive forwards on the bottom six, someone needs to rise up and prove they want a secured spot on the team. Valtteri Puustinen is someone who may be ready to do just that. He has nine points in 23 games this year. He played one of his best games in the Penguins most recent lose, scoring his 2nd goal of the year. If he can keep up the work, he could remain a feature in the 3rd line.

As Read On: The Hockey News - Penguins Preview: Dark Horse Making Case for Bigger Role
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February 22   |   156 answers
Dark Horse Emerges That Could Play a Bigger Part in the Penguins Lineup

Who do you think will make the biggest impact tonight against the Canadians?

O'Connor10064.1 %
Puustinen5635.9 %
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