3 Takeaways: Penguins defenseman Jan Rutta makes a surprising return to the lineup

3 Takeaways: Penguins defenseman Jan Rutta makes a surprising return to the lineup

Three takeaways from the Penguins’ 4-2 win against Toronto on Friday night:

Rutta is back

Penguins defenseman Jan Rutta’s status was somewhat uncertain entering Friday night’s contest, and for good reason. He left Wednesday’s 4-1 win over the rival Washington Capitals early after being on the wrong end of a big hit from Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin.

But Rutta returned to the lineup for his team’s 4-2 road win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Friday, logging 16:34 of ice time in 27 shifts and recording one blocked shot . When she was on the ice at even strength, the Penguins held a 13-9 advantage in shot attempts and outscored the Leafs 2-0.

Rutta wasn’t expansive when discussing the hit with the Toronto media after Friday’s morning skate.

“I’m lucky it wasn’t anything serious,” Rutta said. “I can’t wait to get back in the lineup.”

“Sometimes, you gotta go off the rails, right?”

GWG Collector

Penguins forward Brock McGinn scored the game-winning goal at 1:54 of the third period on Friday.

It marked the second game in a row that he scored.

According to Penguins historian Bob Grove, McGinn now has four game-winning goals in 78 career games with the Penguins. In his first 345 career games, all with the Carolina Hurricanes, McGinn scored four game-winning goals.

DeSmith wins again

Backup goaltender Casey DeSmith picked up his second win of the season (2-3-1) making 28 saves on 30 shots.

Surprisingly, DeSmith has made two consecutive starts in favor of All-Star Tristan Jarry. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan has been asked by media outlets in Washington and Toronto why DeSmith has been in net for those two games, but he has declined to offer any insight into the decision.

Saturday’s win was DeSmith’s 45th with the Penguins and moved him past Jim Rutherford (44) for 12th on the franchise’s goaltending wins list.

Follow the penguins all season long.

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