No longer a Leaf, Poni will see playoffs

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET

PITTSBURGH — Alexei Ponikarovsky laughed when it was jokingly suggested that he will have to remember to go to the rink in mid-April.

As a part of a Maple Leafs team that missed the playoffs the past four seasons, Ponikarovsky is going into unfamiliar territory now that he’s a Penguin.

“It has been quite some time since I made the playoffs, it’s exciting,” Ponikarovsky said Saturday. “To play on a team which is the defending

Stanley Cup champions ... I can’t wait for it.”

First up is his first game against his former team today at Mellon Arena since being dealt for Luca Caputi at the trade deadline.

Ponikarovsky, who has two goals and six assists since the deal, is getting his share of time alongside captain Sidney Crosby, including power-play duty.

“He’s a big body and has done a good job in front of the net,” Crosby said. “He’s strong and he makes space in front of the net. We’ve played against him enough in the past to know that. He’s been a nice addition to our team.”

rob.longley@sunmedia.ca


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