Lovejoy looking for ways to contribute
OTTAWA -- Cracking the Penguins' lineup isn't easy, given that Dan Bylsma's team is arguably the NHL's best and that it is reasonably healthy for the first time all season.
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy and left wing Eric Tangradi are looking to make the most of the opportunities.
Lovejoy returned to the lineup Saturday in Ottawa, replacing injured defensemen Matt Niskanen. He admits that he currently isn't a top-six defenseman for the Penguins, yet is making sure his game is polished when the postseason arrives.
"We have seven guys right now," Lovejoy said. "I'm the seventh. Being on such a good team, it's OK. It's fun to be a part of such a winning organization. I would like to have my name on the Stanley Cup like everybody else. I'd like to help this season. This is my role, to be ready when my name is called."
Lovejoy shows little frustration with his status, even though such a reaction would be understandable. He is plus-2 this season and has been steady, showing improved skating while being quite dependable. Lovejoy has only been worse than a minus-1 in a game once all season.
Niskanen "will be back before the end of the regular season," according to Lovejoy. Still, Lovejoy wants to get some work in before the playoffs.
"I'm excited to play a few games," he said.
Tangradi, who hasn't scored a goal in limited action this season, has seen sporadic action lately and has showed signs of producing. He played perhaps his best game of the season last Sunday in Philadelphia.
"I definitely feel more confident with the puck," Tangradi said. "Obviously I can crash and bang, play that style. But I feel better with the puck on my stick. The game is starting to slow down for me a little bit."
No hard feelings
Ottawa left wing Nick Foligno and center Sidney Crosby had a notable battle in front of the Senators' net following a whistle Nov. 25. Foligno was critical of Crosby in the days that followed.
He has since changed his tune, saying the incident is no longer an issue.
"Not at all," Foligno said. "I haven't thought about it."
Injured goaltender Brent Johnson, center Joe Vitale (right shoulder) and Niskanen (upper-body injury) remained home during the brief trip to Ottawa. None of the injuries are considered serious.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Downie, Farnham bringing a much-needed edge to the Penguins
- Penguins’ Sutter, Downie, Greiss being tested for mumps, ruled out
- Penguins notebook: Memorable night for Pouliot, Trocheck
- Minor league report: Other prospects on Penguins’ radar
- Fleury’s career-best 6th shutout lifts Penguins over Avalanche in overtime