Minneapolis, MN – Last night’s 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Warriors was certainly the toughest win for the Rink Rats this season. Down 2-1 and having a tough time putting goals past Chris Osgood Jamie Langenbrunner scored late in the 2nd period to tie the game on a wrist shot from the slot. As Minnesota continued to fire more and more shots on Osgood the Rats were finally able to break the tie with 5 minutes remaining in the game on a tip-in by David Jones off of a Kyle Cumiskey shot from the point right in front of Osgood. The screened tip-in by Jones left Osgood wondering where the puck went as it glided in the goal.
It was a bittersweet victory of course as the team’s leading goal scorer, Dustin Penner, skated off late in the 1st period with what sounds like a groin strain. Penner is day-to-day but is expected to miss at least a week. The Rats won’t be able to fill the void left by Penner without making a trade but have recalled winger Luca Caputi from Colorado to help out with the team’s offense. Caputi has played well in the minors this season and is another big presence that can score some “garbage” goals in front of the net.
“Luca will get his chance to play some minutes for us on the third line in tonight’s game against the Hooligans,” stated Head Coach Dan Bylsma. “He’s a big presence out there for opposing defenses which will be nice since we are a bit of a smaller team. Losing one of your best players before a big game like this is always tough but we’re fighters and I know our guys will respond.”
Penner has been tied in some trade rumors as of late and his injury could really impact the current talks going on. Attention may quickly turn to Jamie Langenbrunner who has a strong two-way presence and is a veteran leader. We’ll see how things play themselves out.