PenguinsExperience.com - A Pittsburgh Penguins Blog © 2009
Saturday, January 03, 2009

Game Preview: Florida Panthers @ Pittsburgh Penguins


Pittsburgh Penguins Third Jersey Game
Game Time: 1:00pm/ET
From: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Penguins Record: 19-15-4 (8th in Eastern Conference)
Canadiens Record: 16-16-5 (10th in Eastern Conference)
Last Meeting: March 6th, 2008 @ Florida (5-2 Panthers)

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS LINE COMBINATIONS:
Pascal Dupuis - Sidney Crosby - Petr Sykora
Ruslan Fedotenko - Evgeni Malkin - Miroslav Satan
Tyler Kennedy * - Jordan Staal - Matt Cooke
Dustin Jeffrey - Maxime Talbot - Tim Wallace/Eric Godard **

Brooks Opik - Rob Scuderi
Hal Gil - Ryan Whitney
Alex Goligoski - Kris Letang

* Kennedy practiced with the team and is expected to play, but it is unconfirmed at this point.
** The choice between Godard and Wallace will be a game time decision


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS PROBABLE GOALTENDER:
Marc-Andre Fleury (11-7-2 / 2.96 GAA / .907 SV%)

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS INJURIES:
Sergei Gonchar (left shoulder surgery) - on injured reserve
Mike Zigomanis (upper body) - out indefinitely
Philippe Boucher (undisclosed) - day-to-day, will likely miss today's game


FLORIDA PANTHERS LINE COMBINATIONS:
David Booth - Stephen Weiss * - Nathan Horton
Ville Peltonen - Gregory Campbell - Radek Dvorak
Cory Stillman - Michael Frolik - Richard Zednik
Nick Tarnasky - Kamil Kreps - Brett McLean

Jay Bouwmeester - Karlis Skrastins
Bryan McCabe - Jassen Cullimore
Keith Ballard - Nick Boynton

* Questionable for today's game.

FLORIDA PANTHERS PROBABLE GOALTENDER:
Craig Anderson (8-4-4 / 2.27 GAA / .935 SV%)

FLORIDA PANTHERS INJURIES:
Bryan Allen (left knee surgery) - on injured reserve
Rostislav Olesz (strained groin) - on injured reserve
Kamil Kreps (shoulder) - on injured reserve
Stephen Weiss (flu-like symptoms) - day-to-day, questionable for today's game

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS LEADERS:
GOALS: Malkin (15)
ASSISTS: Malkin (45)
POINTS: Malkin (60)
+/-: Malkin (+20)

FLORIDA PANTHERS LEADERS:
GOALS: Booth (15)
ASSISTS: Weiss (15)
POINTS: Weiss (21)
+/-: Weiss (+12)


Obviously this is another big game for the Penguins. They have lost three games in a row and four in a row at home. Tyler Kennedy could make his return today, which would help greatly. His presence was missed a great deal. It's rumoured that, if Kennedy plays, he will see some time on the power play. I think this is a great idea, as grit and net presence is definitely missing on the struggling Penguins power play.

The lines from last game, which see Sykora now playing with Crosby and Satan with Malkin, will remain. I'm not a big fan of splitting up Malkin and Sykora, but something does need to be done offensively.

The Penguins are almost healthy, missing only Zigomanis, Gonchar and Boucher from the line-up. While Zigomanis and Gonchar are incredibly valuable to the Pens, it's good to see the team getting some bodies back.

Prediction: 3-2 Penguins [OT]

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