Penguins forward Joseph Blandisi expected to make his season debut
ST. PAUL, Minn — Penguins forward Joseph Blandisi is expected to make his season debut Saturday against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Penguins recalled Blandisi from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Friday and sent down forward Andrew Agozzino in his place.
“(Blandisi is) another player that’s part of the depth of this organization that we knew that at some point he could play games for us,” said coach Mike Sullivan. “He’s a little bit different than (Agozzino) in the sense that he’s got a little bit more size, a little bit more speed. He plays a simpler game.”
Blandisi, 25, appeared in six NHL games with the Penguins last season and did not record a point. He began the season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins centering the third line. In one AHL contest this season, he has no points.
Agozzino, 28, was recalled on Monday and made his Penguins debut during Thursday’s 2-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks at PPG Paints Arena. His first contest in a Penguins jersey was hardly a memorable one as he only recorded 1:44 of ice time on four shifts, none of which came after the Ducks’ lone goal at 3:27 of the second period. Agozzino was on the ice during that score.
• Goaltender Matt Murray is expected to start in net.
• Sullivan did not disclose his plans in net for Sunday’s road game against the Winnipeg Jets. Backup goaltender Tristan Jarry has yet to play this season.
• The Penguins held an optional morning skate. In addition to Murray and Jarry, the only players to participate were defensemen Erik Gudbranson, Jusso Riikola and Chad Ruhwedel. All three are expected to be scratched for the second consecutive game.
• This will be the home opener for the Wild, which has begun the season at 0-3-0. Due to a pregame ceremony, the game is scheduled to begin at 8:43 p.m. EDT.
• The Wild has only had a lead for 12:09 in its three games this season.
• Wild forward Victor Rask, who was connected to the Penguins in offseason trade rumors, is expected to make his season debut.
• Goaltender Devan Dubnyk is expected to start for the Wild.
• The Wild has never lost a home opener in regulation. It has a 14-0-4 record in such games.
• The Wild is one of two active NHL franchises the Penguins have never recorded a shut out against. The other is the Las Vegas Golden Knights, an expansion franchise which is only its third season.
Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .