Matt Niskanen

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Maatta Finnishes Capitals, Pens Win 13th Straight At Home

The Penguins only held the lead in Wednesday night's game against the Washington Capitals for 1:54. The good thing is that it was the final 1:54 of the game after rookie defenseman Olli Maatta finally put the Penguins on top for a 4-3 win.  The Penguins have now won 13 straight at home setting a new franchise record. 

The Capitals got on the board first more than halfway through the first period when Brooks Laich scored shorthanded after a turnover on a breakout pass by Kris Letang. Laich paitently peeled around a fallen Letang who expected a pass before beating Marc-Andre Fleury to the blocker side.

Letang made up for it in the second period tying the game at th...

This is our House; Pens beat Jets and Rangers to Extend Home Win Streak to 12

Despite two wins over the weekend, the biggest headlines in Pittsburgh were the returns of Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and the 12 game home winning streak.

Malkin, who missed nine games due to a leg injury sustained in Detroit, returned Sunday against the Jets in glorious fashion.  Letang also returned on Sunday against the Jets, but will need further time on the ice in order to find his grove.

On Friday, Pittsburgh welcomed divisional for New York Rangers onto Consol ice. It was expected to be a rather close game considering the beat down the Rangers gave the Penguins at MSG just a few weeks back.

Someone forgot to tell Pittsburgh though.

At the 13:09 mark, C...

Seven Is Better Than Six, Pens Douse Flames

The Pittsburgh Penguins are making quite the habit of defending their home fortress in recent weeks. The Penguins held on for a 4-3 victory over the visiting Calgary Flames this afternoon for the Penguins seventh win in a row and tenth straight at CONSOL Energy Center.  

Sidney Crosby added three points now leading the league with 54 also having a league leading 34 assists.  

With the exception of the Crosby, Dupuis, and Kunitz line, the first period was not very solid for either team, despite the Penguins taking a 2-0 lead on only five shots.  Defense has been a noted sore spot for the Flames for the bulk of the season, but have been markedly improved recently ...

Pens Win 6th Straight; Maatta's Exceptional Play Is Turning Heads

With ten regulars missing from the lineup…

Forget it; the Pittsburgh Penguins are not just overcoming injuries anymore. They aren’t just kids filling in for starters and coming away with a victory here and there. They are a deep team, a talented team, a team that is playing like they should.

With a 5-2 victory on home ice against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Penguins firmly move into first place in the Eastern Conference. They are just two points behind league leading Chicago.

They have won six straight games, 11 of their past 12, and nine straight at home.

The team’s goals against average over the past 12 games is a miniscule 1...

Penguins Defense Deeper than Expected; How Current Call Ups Change Pittsburgh’s Defensive Game Plan

Over the past 4 seasons, Ray Shero has had a niche for finding quality defensemen in the draft and via trade. This pursuit of Ray’s had been criticized over the years, stating that Shero has neglected the winger position and the goaltender position, but those critics are tasting the sweet meat of crow right about now.

In 2009, the Penguins drafted two defensemen with their first two selections. First round selection Simon Despres has played sparingly over the course of two years and was recalled from WBS Baby Penguins nine games ago. The Penguins second selection in 2009 was defenseman Phillip Samuelsson. Samuelsson will make his NHL debut on Monday, December 16 against the To...

Kris Letang to IR: Penguins Blue Line Missing Four Top Defenders, Recall Son of Ulf

On Saturday, while in Detroit, Kris Letang injured himself in warm-ups. There were no further comments on his status until Monday morning when Letang was placed on IR in order to make room for two roster moves.

With Kris Letang being moved to IR, the Penguins were able to make room for call ups Phillip Samuelsson and Harry Zolnierczyk.
Letang joins three other Penguin defenders on IR, including Rob Scuderi (likely to return next week) Paul Martin, and Brooks Orpik. Unfortunately, that is all four of the Penguins top four defensemen. With Deryk Engelland certain to be suspended for his hit to the head of Justin Abdlkader, the Penguins had no other choice but to make the call ups...

Penguins Drop Two Straight; Looking for Healthy Returns to Provide Consistency

The Penguins have now dropped two straight and are just 5-5 in their last ten games. Their offense has been struggling as of late and the defense has found little consistency following the injury to Rob Scuderi. So the question is, what can the Penguins do find success?

On the Defensive Side – With Rob Scuderi out of the lineup, the Penguins have been forced to alter their defensive pairings. Unfortunately, now Paul Martin is considered day to day and will most likely miss his second straight game on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. With all of that in mind, the Penguins do not have too many options other than to alter their pairings.

The first Penguins pairing...

Okposo Looks to Continue to KO the Competiton

How has Kyle Okposo's career turned that proverbial corner? Has it been the players he's been playing with, his maturation of a hockey player, or was it that one special night in May? Check out how Okposo is becoming a monster on the stat sheet this season.(flickr/Official New York Islanders)

Two Week Recap; Defensive Edition

After six games the Pittsburgh Penguins currently stand atop the newly formed Metropolitan division with a record of 5-1-0. So far they have not played a truly difficult schedule, beating just one team that has a record .500 or better and have faced three teams on the second night of a back to back series. Despite this, the Penguins are taking advantage of their schedule early on and creating a multitude of storylines for the NHL.

He Isn’t Going Back – After putting together an incredible performance in training camp, Olli Maatta has clearly demonstrated that his talents are NHL ready. Maatta currently ranks third on the Penguins defense in defensive zone draws. His ice ...

Training Camp Outlook; All About The Defense

It was brutal, demeaning, and downright pathetic. It was a four game beat down at the hands of the Boston Bruins that sent Pittsburgh packing to another relatively early exit.

The Pens had beefed up for the run, calling in ringers from around the league via trade. This caused the team to slow down drastically, reportedly in an attempt to be more difficult to play against. The result, however, was a drastic decline in speed and chemistry.

This season has the looks of something very different and the battles in camp should prove this to be true. Pittsburgh is staying in house this season and looking for a spark in terms of a youth movement.

Out with the old and in with the...