Florida Panthers (31-23-12) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (40-21-5)
TV: ROOT, FS-F
Consol Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA
The Florida Panthers have 74 points. They're third in the Eastern Conference. And somehow realignment was shot down. The Pens are going for eight-in-a-row. Simon Despres has been called up.
Season Series: 2-1-0.
Last meeting that counted: January 13, 2012. Penguins won 4-1.
What we said in our recap:
That's more like it. The Pens' scorers were scoring goals. MAF was making ten-bell saves. It has to be said that Florida basically didn't even show up for this game. Their place in the standings says they're better than what they showed last night. But maybe the Pens simply have their number. All of that talk is moot, though. The Pens are finally back in the win column. The Pens could've beaten Mt. Lebanon's JV team last night, and it wouldn't have dimmed the boost that this win will most likely bring.
Know Your Enemy: Litter Box Cats.
What they're saying:
The Panthers continue their two game Pennsylvania road trip tonight in Pittsburgh. The Pens are on a hot streak right now. They're 8-2-0 in their last ten and though they are six points behind their Atlantic Division rival New York Rangers, they could challenge them for the Eastern Conference lead. And all this without Kris Letang and some guy called Sidney Crosby, who may be returning next week. The Panthers are still first in the Southeast Division, thanks to the Vancouver Canucks, who beat the Winnipeg Jets last night. The Capitals are back within two as well thanks to their overtime victory over the Lightning last night. The Jets play in Calgary tonight, while the rest of the division has the night off.
Favorite Panthers Image, Photoshop, Gif or Video:
It's not our favorite, but if the Panthers make the playoffs we could see this again soon...
Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Empty Netters:
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Steve Sullivan - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Joe Vitale - Tyler Kennedy
Arron Asham - Craig Adams - Richard Park
Simon Despres - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Zbynek Michalek
Brian Strait - Ben Lovejoy
Paul Martin is a game-time decision with "an illness." Yes, that is a potential top pairing of Despres and Niskanen. Who would have predicted that last season?
Florida Panthers lines from Empty Netters:
Sean Bergenheim - Stephen Weiss - Mikael Samuelsson
Tomas Kopecky - Marcel Goc - Jarred Smithson
Tomas Fleischmann - Shawn Matthias - Wojtek Wolski
Krys Barch - Mike Santorelli - Jack Skille
Erik Gudbranson - Ed Jovanovski
Brian Campbell - Jay Garrison
Keaton Ellerby - Mike Weaver
The Pens have won seven-in-a-row. They have an incredibly challenging Bruins-Rangers-Devils-Flyers stretch coming up after today. Sidney Crosby return rumors are everywhere. They can't fall into the trap and overlook this game.