|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 2, 2019
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario Attendance: 19,477
Penguins, Leafs meet while testing new parts
When the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, it will be a meeting of teams that made moves this week to prepare for the stretch run.
The Maple Leafs added a much-needed experienced defenseman in Jake Muzzin in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. He made his debut Friday night with the Maple Leafs in a 3-2 overtime loss at the Detroit Red Wings.
Muzzin played 18 minutes without a point and was paired with Morgan Rielly, who moved to the right side, although Rielly could return to the left side eventually. It was the first game for the Maple Leafs since Jan. 23, and it showed.
"Some things for me to pick up on and get better, but for the most part felt pretty good," Muzzin said. "(Rielly) is easy to play with. He talks a lot. He's in position. He's a good player so I'm fortunate to be paired with him."
The Maple Leafs gave up forward Carl Grundstrom, the rights to unsigned draft choice Sean Durzi and their 2019 first-round draft pick for the 29-year-old Muzzin. He has played in 496 NHL games.
The Penguins were busy Friday before they defeated the visiting Ottawa Senators 5-3.
Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford made a trade with the Florida Panthers, obtaining centers Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann for Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, a second-round pick and two fourth-round picks in the 2019 draft.
"It gives us guys who can play in the top-nine, in Nick's case, the top-six," Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It makes our top-12 stronger. Now we have guys who will play on our fourth line that can move up into the top-nine on any given night. We have more balance in our forwards than we've had all year."
Bjugstad, 26, is listed as 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, but Rutherford said size was not the main reason for making the trade.
"I just want players who can play," Rutherford said.
"I'm not overly concerned because, as we've seen in the game, there's a lot of great players who are not on the big side. Certainly to have a guy with his stature and his reach and the way he's capable of playing, it helps. But I didn't necessarily just go out looking for a 6-foot-6 guy."
Both players played against the Senators at PPG Paints Arena. Bjugstad wore No. 27, the same number that his uncle, Scott, wore when he played for the Penguins.
In 33 games this season, Bjugstad has five goals and eight assists, including an assist in his Penguins debut Friday.
McCann, 22, can be used in several ways. He has eight goals and 10 assists in 47 games this season; he failed to earn a point Friday for the Penguins.
"He can fill the shutdown role," Rutherford said. "He can kill penalties. He's probably more suited to that third-line role. I do think over time there's an upside to him offensively."
The Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin (upper-body injury) for the game Saturday. He did not play Friday.
Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner returned to the lineup Friday after missing two games because of back spasms.
The Penguins and Maple Leafs have split two games this season. Pittsburgh won 3-0 in Toronto on Oct. 18 and Toronto won 5-0 in Pittsburgh on Nov. 3.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 2, 2019
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