Two years ago yesterday, the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired forward Carl Hagelin from the Anaheim Ducks. Flash forward 24 months and Hagelin returns to Anaheim a two-time Stanley Cup champion.
"At the time, you're kind of shocked when you get the call," recalled Hagelin from practice yesterday. "Obviously I knew going to Pittsburgh there's a lot of good players and a great organization, so I was looking forward to that opportunity. There were guys on this team that had won the Cup before and when you have two superstar players like 'Geno' and 'Sid' and then you add Phil and 'Tanger' to the mix, you know you have a good chance."
Despite slumping for most of the season with only three goals and 10 points in 45 games, Hagelin is actually riding a bit of a hot streak since joining the team’s second line with Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist. The former Duck has one goal and four points in his last three games, including his first multiple-point game of the season in Sunday’s 5-2 win over the New York Rangers.
Now, Hagelin and this teammates turn their focus to the West Coast and tonight’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. Both teams enter tonight’s contest going in opposite directions. The Penguins have won four straight, while the Ducks have won only once in their past four games.
No lineup changes expected tonight from head coach Mike Sullivan, so the team should ice a squad that was identical to the one from Sunday’s victory:
Of course, starting goaltender Matt Murray remains out of the lineup, as it was announced earlier today that he’s been granted a leave of absence to deal with the death of his father James.
Tristan Jarry is expected to start in goal, while this morning’s AHL call up Jean Sebastien Dea will watch from the press box.
Puck drop is 10PM ET. Who’s brewing an extra pot of coffee to catch the late game? Go, Pens, go!