2:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nothing like a 2 p.m. game in the middle of a Saturday to get you started for hte weekend. Thanks to Hockey Day (Night) in Canada the Penguins will be playing a day game, which the more I think about it makes it OK. I have nothing to do all day so this will gain my attention for the boring parts of the day. Perfect.
Also some big news out of Penguings camp as Jordan Staal will be in the lineup today after missing the better part of six weeks with a knee injury that he suffered against the Rangers. It will be great to have Staal back on the ice as the Penguins are starting to get a little healthy.
Of course that is said with the knowledge that Tyler Kennedy is going to be missing 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain that he suffered a week back. Kennedy hasn't been playing well, at all, this season so this shouldn't hurt the on ice play at all but I am sure it takes a hit in the locker room because TK is a well liked guy in there.
The Penguins are starting a stretch of games where they are going to play a lot of teams that are not currently in the playoffs so they need to start stacking points right now to position themselves for the stretch run of the season. Starting today they open up a nine game stretch where they play the following teams: vs. Win, vs. TB, vs. Ana, @Phil, @Buff, vs. NYR, vs. TB, vs. Col, @ Dal. Those are some teams they should beat sprinkled in with games they need to win against Philadelphia and New York.
Should be a fun game to watch.
The season series (Tied 1-1):
October 17, 2011 - Winnipeg 2, Pittsburgh 1
December 23, 2011 - Pittsburgh 4, Winnipeg 1
The Penguins probables (via Seth at Empty Netters):
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Steve Sullivan - Cal O'Reilly - Dustin Jeffrey
Craig Adams - Joe Vitale - Richard Park
Brooks Orpik - Kris Letang
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Deryk Engelland/Ben Lovejoy - Matt Niskanen
Marc Andre Fleury
The Jets probables:
Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Nik Antropov - Eric Fehr
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn
Alexander Burmistrov - Aaron Gagnon - Antti Miettinen
Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
Ron Hainsey - Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart - Johnny Oduya