After one period of play at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota Wild are in scoreless tie. Scoring chances were limited for both teams, with the Penguins outshooting the Wild 9-6. Pittsburgh has yet to go on the power play but did manage to kill off two Minnesota chances, after Matt Niskanen and Pascal Dupuis were sent to the box in the first. Brent Johnson is in goal for the Pens, giving Marc Andre-Fleury a rest with Pittsburgh on the second night of back-to-back games.
In addition to Fleury, defenseman Kris Letang is also out, but not by choice. Letang was suspended by the NHL’s Brendan Shanahan for a boarding penalty on the Jets’ Alex Burmistrov last night in Winnipeg. Letang’s absence adds to the Pens roster depletion, with Evgeni Malkin, Brooks Orpik, Tyler Kennedy, and Sidney Crosby all down and out. Brian Strait is filling in for Letang, skating with Deryk Engelland. Strait scored in the preseason against the Wild.