Rookie Megna boosts Penguins in 3-1 victory over Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. — The Penguins' depth finally showed up Monday.
On a night when the Penguins looked stagnant at times, they received a spirited performance from Jayson Megna, who was playing in his second NHL game, in a 3-1 victory at Carolina.
“He was flying all night,” Penguins center Joe Vitale said. “I think he was nervous in his first game. My first game, I was so scared. Tonight, he played with confidence. And, he was a different player tonight.”
Megna was a difference-maker, too. He set up the Penguins' first goal for his first NHL point in the first period and later provided insurance with his first career NHL goal.
“I had a lot more confidence tonight,” Megna said. “I was feeling good out there.”
Megna was a presence from his first shift, when he busted through the Carolina defense and nearly beat goaltender Justin Peters.
Later in the period, the 23-year-old from Illinois notched his first NHL point when the rebound of his shot was knocked in by left wing Tanner Glass.
Megna played 9:54 and fired four shots on net, a total that was surpassed only by Chris Kunitz's six.
“He was effective on the ice almost every shift,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “He made some plays. He really earned the opportunity to get more ice time, which he got. He really was a factor. He could have had a couple of more (goals).”
With the exception of Sidney Crosby, who earned two more assists — one of them a beauty on Kunitz's goal late in the second period — to push his league-leading point total to 20, it was a quiet night for the Penguins' stars. The power play continued to struggle, and Evgeni Malkin was scoreless.
Megna provided just the spark the Penguins needed. They entered the game with an 0-2 record when Crosby is held pointless, a sign that scoring depth has been an issue.
It wasn't in the third period, when Megna notched his first career goal.
Crosby snatched a rebound of a Brooks Orpik shot and fired a puck toward Peters. The puck caromed off Megna's shin pad and past the goaltender.
Orpik assisted on all three goals.
“I told (Megna) that's usually not how the first one goes in,” Crosby said. “But you take it.”
Crosby will take Megna's overall performance, too.
“He was great at creating things,” Crosby said. “He had a lot of good chances. He played a good hockey game tonight. It's nice to see him get rewarded.”
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 of 21 shots to improve his record to 8-2. He was forced to make a number of saves midway through the second period when the game was tied and the Penguins were looking lifeless.
Megna took care of that problem.
“Sometimes I notice other players during the game,” Fleury said. “And I noticed him.”
The Penguins (8-4-0, 16 points), who avoided a four-game losing streak, lead Carolina by five points in the Metropolitan Division and will take on Boston, one of the league's deepest teams, on Wednesday at Consol Energy Center.
Luckily for the Penguins, they may have found a little depth of their own.
“Jayson played with swagger tonight,” Vitale said. “He's a great hockey player. He showed it.”
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.
- Obama’s immigration actions neglect business pleas
- Steelers notebook: Defense has a retro feel
- In Steelers-Saints game, all eyes on Brown-Lewis matchup
- Auto technology gives mobile computing a new meaning
- Salvation Army in W.Pa. uses social media campaign
- Trib real estate writer Spatter ‘worked right to the end’
- Sloppy Penguins fall to Hurricanes
- McKeesport’s Minerva’s Bakery to be featured on Sebak’s documentary
- California native Verbisky hasn’t forgotten area roots
- Thousands attend Vandergrift Light-Up Night, Christmas parade
- Hempfield Area High School senior Richason creates Before I Die wall in Greensburg