PITTSBURGH, PA – On Saturday afternoon, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Jonathan Gruden scored for the fifth time in three games during a road game against the Charlotte Checkers. Just a day later, he was en route to Pittsburgh after the Penguins recalled him.
“Pretty crazy,” he said. “I found out (Sunday) morning in Charlotte, and then flew to Wilkes and drove here (Sunday) night.”
Gruden made his NHL debut on Monday night against the Anaheim Ducks at PPG Paints Arena. He logged 7:02 of ice time in the Penguins’ 4-3 overtime victory, even having an attempt ring off the post in the first period.
“I thought Grudes played well. I thought he was making good decisions, I thought he played with confidence,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “I would have liked to have gotten him a little bit more ice time, but the way the game evolved with some of the power plays and special teams, it just didn’t give me the opportunity to use the bench the way I had intended going in and the way I wanted to. But I thought for his first game, I thought he played a real solid game.”