Through two games, the Penguins’ issues are plenty. But, naturally, when you allow 11 goals in two games to your biggest rival to begin the season, the bulk of the attention turns to goaltending.
Tristan Jarry started both losses in Philadelphia this week. He allowed nine goals on 40 shots and was pulled in the first period Friday night after Pittsburgh fell behind 3-0.
But his teammates, and coach, say their trust in the 25-year-old has not wavered.
“He just has to focus on the things that he can control,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “That’s his effort, his attitude, his work ethic, his approach, his confidence level. All of those things.
“We all believe in Tristan. We know he’s a good goalie. He’s going to have an opportunity here to respond, and we believe he’ll respond the right way… This is a long season, and we’ll just continue to work through the process with him.”
Defenseman Brian Dumoulin thinks the problems start with the skaters in front of Jarry.
“Definitely at the beginning of games we have to limit the chances against, especially 2-on-1’s, breakaways, 3-on-1’s,” Dumoulin said. “Those are tough to save for a goalie. It’s tough for a goalie to get into a rhythm when he’s got to make those decisions and make those reads.
“As a team, we still have a lot of confidence in (Jarry). You see how hard he works. He’s a great teammate and is a guy we want to play hard for and will continue to.”
Suspension for McCann?
Penguins winger Jared McCann may not be able to play Sunday. McCann was called for an elbowing penalty against Flyers forward Travis Sanheim Friday night and will have a disciplinary meeting with the NHL Saturday.
McCann did practice with the team Saturday, but rookie Drew O’Connor stepped in at times to fill McCann’s spot on the third line.
All other Penguins lines and pairings remained the same from Friday’s game.
Kapanen is Close
Pens winger Kasperi Kapanen is close to joining the team for the first time.
Kapanen had immigration issues coming from Finland to Pittsburgh and did not arrive until last week. He was required to quarantine for seven days and pass multiple COVID-19 tests.
Sullivan said that Kapanen is “on track,” but would not confirm that he would play in tomorrow’s game against Washington.
About those Caps…
Washington is off to a 2-0 start after consecutive wins over Buffalo. The Capitals won their first game, 6-4, followed by a 2-1 win Friday.
“It’s an emotional game,” Dumoulin said. “We’ve got to get in the win column, we’ve got to start getting some points. It’s even more crucial for us to come out and perform and play solid.
“Against Washington, we both know what each other are like, what each other’s game plans are. It comes down to execution, playing hard, and wanting to win more than them.”
With only a 56-game season, and one that will only feature games against a reorganized division, falling too far behind is something the Penguins are trying to avoid.
"We know we've got to start getting some points here,” winger Jake Guentzel said. “It's time for us at home tomorrow to get going. We know how big of a game it is for us.
"We'll be just fine. We just have to stick to what we're doing and the wins will come."