In the first game of the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh’s forward Jordan Staal ended up with an injury that would break his record streak of games played. Staal had previously held a streak of 358 games played in a row until he was benched with a foot injury in game one, suffered when Staal tangled up with Canadiens’ P.K. Subban on the center ice.
Staal was listed as out indefinitely, and many were under the impression that he would not be back on the ice during the semi-finals series. Despite having the tendon in his foot surgically repaired, the young forward participated in full practice with the Penguins between games three and four.
“Being able to stay out there as long as I can and not feeling that it isn’t getting worse is a good thing,” Staal was quoted saying.
Staal’s absence left the Penguins with one loss and one win, not counting the first game of the series. The loss came in a 3-1 game against the Canadiens, where Marc-Andre Fleury failed to prevent pucks from penetrating the posts. Game three, however, was startlingly different as Fleury managed to earn his fourth career postseason shutout, as well as his first in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Staal is still listed as day-to-day, though his appearance during practice may be signs of a quick recovery, despite the early stages of his healing. Coach Bylsma has not totally excluded the possibility of Staal on the ice during game four.
Bill Geurin is also out with an undisclosed injury, and it is unknown whether or not the 39 year old winger will return for game four of the series.
The Penguins are currently listed as the favorite, as per BetUS Sportsbook, with odds of -175 on the money line to the Canadiens’ +155. The best online sportsbooks also have the penguins listed as a 1.5 point favorite to take the puck line.