Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

7 Players Head for World Championship

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

7 Players Head for World Championship

Article excerpt

The Penguins, following their stunning exit from the NHL playoffs just six days after they started, will be well represented at the IIHF ice hockey world championship when the puck drops on that tournament next month.

Seven Penguins have accepted invitations to represent their respective countries in the tournament - Sidney Crosby is not among them because he wanted the rest - and each of those players to varying degrees has something to prove in Slovakia:

Evgeni Malkin: The Russian is the highest-profile Penguin playing in the tournament and will get an opportunity to remind the hockey world that he can still be an elite player after a disappointing 2018-19 season that has the Penguins organization no longer viewing the three-time Cup winner and former MVP as an untouchable. Perhaps more important, Malkin will get an opportunity to remind himself of that, too. It's also worth noting Malkin opted to play instead of resting like Crosby, which suggests his late-season upper-body injury must not have hampered him too much against the New York Islanders. He had three points in the sweep.

Matt Murray: Murray, who carried the Penguins into the playoffs with his strong play in March, is the presumptive starter for the Canadians. Their other goalies are fellow Thunder Bay, Ontario, native Mackenzie Blackwood and Carter Hart. Murray was solid against the Islanders, but Robin Lehner outshined him at the other end. So now he will look to add to his big-game resume playing for Canada. The Penguins no doubt will want Murray to thrive, but given his injury history, they'll probably be satisfied if he makes it out of the tournament unscathed.

Patric Hornqvist: The feisty Swede had just three goals and nine assists in the final 40 games of the season, including four pointless playoff games. Will Hornqvist be productive in international play, helping him rediscover some confidence? …

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