Penguins backup goalie Tristan Jarry gets the call against Maple Leafs
Tristan Jarry is in the net and Nick Bjugstad is out for the Pittsburgh Penguins in their game Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at PPG Paints Arena.
Jarry will appear in his fifth game this season after losing three of his previous four starts. He has a 2.25 goals-against average and 92.9 save percentage.
Bjugstad, who has missed nine of the Penguins’ first 19 games, left the 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday night with an undisclosed injury.
“He’s having a few more tests,” coach Mike Sullivan said before the game. “We’ll have more information over the next few days.”
Sullivan said the mounting injuries have been frustrating for Bjugstad, who has missed nine games.
“A guy wants to help the team win and it just seems like right from the start of training camp we haven’t been able to keep him on the ice and keep him healthy.”
He’s had plenty of company off the ice. Three others have missed significant portions of the season, including Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust (11 games each) and Alex Galchenyuk (nine). Kris Letang has missed four while Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist are on injured reserve.
Sullivan said Letang and Hornqvist have started to skate during their rehab.
“It’s a challenge,” Sullivan said of losing so many key contributors. “I don’t know if it’s unique or not. I think it’s part of pro sports.
“We’ve all been through experiences over the years where teams have got hit with injuries. We just happened to be hit with a bunch early in the season.
“Our players can draw on those experiences. I like the mindset of the group. No one is feeling sorry for themselves in there. No one is has the `woe is me.’ ”
Joe Blandisi was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to help ease the manpower shortage.
“He’s played extremely well and he fills a need for our team,” Sullivan said. “Speed, strength, the ability to kill penalties, the ability to play center and the wing.”
Sullivan remains steadfast in his contention that the Penguins have played “extremely well” under difficult circumstances.
“I don’t think our record (10-7-2 before Saturday) is reflective of how well the team’s played. We just have to stay with it.”
After winning six of their first eight games, the Penguins won only four of 11. In six of those, they’ve scored fewer than three goals.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .