7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Well it certainly seems like it has been weeks since the Penguins have played a hockey game, hasn't it? To be honest if you are a person that has a job that you need to be at early and weren't able to stay up into the late hours of the night you probably haven't seen a complete Penguins game since October 29th when the Penguins played the Maple Leafs. Between then and now the Penguins have played two games on the West Coast and that is it. They haven't played since November 5. After leading the league in games played by like three to five games now every team has almost played at least 14 or 15 games and the Penguins are still on top of the East.
The Penguins are going up against a pretty good Stars team tonight. Being in the Western Conference we don't get to see them a whole bunch but they are raking right now with an 11-3-0 record and score over three goals a game. In this year's NHL the average number of goals per game is right around five so the Stars are putting the puck in the net with some consistency.
No Sidney Crosby tonight as he was ruled out of the weekend games. No idea when we might see him as the Penguins are not tipping their hands and the players themselves seem to not even know.
Alex Goligoski is going to be back in Pittsburgh and it will be fun to watch him. I was a pretty big fan of GoGo's while he was in Pittsburgh and while he might have been some sort of a whipping boy I think he played some pretty decent hockey here early in his career. From what I have seen and heard he is playing well with the Stars and they are happy to have him. I am happy to have James Neal so I guess it is even.
The last time they met:
November 3, 2010 - Dallas 5, Pittsburgh 2
The Penguins probables:
Steve Sullivan - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Richard Park - Arron Asham
Eric Tangradi - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Kris Letang - Paul Martin
Deryk Engelland - Brooks Orpik
Matt Niskanen - Alexandre Picard
Marc Andre Fleury
The Stars probables:
Loui Eriksson - Jamie Benn - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Adam Burish
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Krys Barch - Tom Wandell - Toby Petersen
Mark Fistric - Alex Goligoski
Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley