Game Time: 7:00pm/ET
From: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Penguins Record: 17-10-4 (7th in Eastern Conference)
Maple Leafs Record: 12-13-6 (11th in Eastern Conference)
Last Meeting: October 18th, 2008 @ Pittsburgh (4-1 Pens)
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS LINE COMBINATIONS:
Jeff Taffe - Sidney Crosby - Miroslav Satan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Evgeni Malkin - Petr Sykora
Tim Wallace - Jordan Staal - Matt Cooke
Ryan Stone - Maxime Talbot - Eric Godard
Brooks Opik - Rob Scuderi
Kris Letang - Mark Eaton
Phillipe Boucher - Alex Goligoski
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS PROBABLE GOALTENDER:
Marc-Andre Fleury (9-3-2 / 2.87GAA / .907 SV%)
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS INJURIES:
Sergei Gonchar (left shoulder surgery) - on injured reserve
Tyler Kennedy (sprained knee) - on injured reserve
Hal Gill (right shoulder) - on injured reserve
Mike Zigomanis (upper body) - out indefinitely
Pascal Dupuis (undisclosed) - day-to-day, will miss tonight's game
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS LINE COMBINATIONS:
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Matt Stajan - Nik Antropov
Nikolai Kulemin - Mikhail Grabovski - Lee Stempniak
Jason Blake - Dominic Moore - Jeremy Williams
Ryan Hollweg - John Mitchell - Andre Deveaux
Tomas Kaberle - Pavel Kubina
Mike Van Ryn - Ian White
Jeff Finger - Jamie Sifers
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS PROBABLE GOALTENDER:
Vesa Toskala (12-9-5 / 3.12AA / .887 SV%)
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS INJURIES:
Jonas Frogren (torn muscles in left arm) - on injured reserve
Jamal Mayers (broken right hand) - on injured reserve
Luke Schenn (knee) - on injured reserve
Mike Van Ryn (concussion) - expected to miss tonight's game
Niklas Hagman (concussion) - probable for tonight's game
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS LEADERS:
GOALS: Malkin (14)
ASSISTS: Malkin (39)
POINTS: Malkin (53)
+/-: Malkin (+20)
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS:
GOALS: Antropov (12)
ASSISTS: Kaberle (18)
POINTS: Stajan (24)
+/-: Ponikarovsky (+4)
The good news: Maxime Talbot is back in the line-up tonight.
The bad news: Pascal Dupuis is out.
The Penguins injury woes continue.
Oddly enough, Jeff Taffe will take Dupuis spot on the first line, while Talbot will return to his role as fourth line center. It's odd that Talbot wouldn't take the spot beside Crosby, since he's played there before. Either he didn't impress on the first line, or Taffe impressed Therrien in the last game.
The Leafs are coming off of an 8-5 loss to the Bruins while the Penguins last three scores were 6-3, 6-3 and 9-2. This will likely not be a defensive battle.
Fleury will likely need to save the game for the Penguins, who have not played well defensively. It's not just the injured Penguins defense either. The team's forwards have, for the most part, been neglecting their defensive duties recently.
The Leafs have performed relatively well this season, considering the lack of "name" talent on their team.
I can see this being one of those games where the Penguins build up a big lead, watch it disappear and then come back in the third.
Prediction: 6-4 Penguins
Saturday, December 20, 2008
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