8:00 p.m., MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
The last Penguins game
January 23, 2013 - Toronto 5, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
The Penguins are coming off their first loss and while they have had a pretty good start to the season when I looked at the standings to begin the day I realized that while the Penguins, Flyers, and Rangers were supposed to headline the Atlantic Division the latter two were both 1-3-0 while the Penguins are tied in points with both the Devils and Islanders. Sure, it is only three or four games into the season but still kinda weird to see.
Last season the Penguins took the season series from the Jets 3-1 with the Jets lone win coming in the first game of the series. In that four game series the Penguins scored 21 goals including a pair of eight goal games. I will tell you this that I hope that Penguins team comes to play tonight.
There are a few changes, which you will see in the line pairings, but it seems as if the Eric Tangradi experiment has been put on hold as Tyler Kennedy is going to be throw on the second like with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. I am not sure if that will stick as Dan Bylsma said that there might be some different players up there but the Tangradi move really isn't that surprising. The other move is that Simon Despres is going to be a healthy scratch with Ben Lovejoy getting his first start of the season.
I guess you need to get Lovejoy out there becuase I would be shocked if a dman didn't go down at some point in the season so you want him to have some playing time but I am not a really big fan of Lovejoy. For the most part he does a decent job but makes a few too many mistakes for my liking, but as a seventh defenseman you could do a lot worse. While Bylsma said that Despres is doing some good things but has also been inconsistent so he wants to get Lovejoy into the game.
Tomas Vokoun will get the start in net after Marc Andre Fleury gave up a five spot on Wednesday and according to Disco MAF will get the start in Ottawa on Sunday afternoon. Part of the reason for setting out the goaltending duties that way was because of " Vokoun's 5-12 career record against the Senators as one of the reasons he will play tonight" according to the Penguins website via Disco.
Pittsburgh (2-1-0) (via Penguins website)
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Tyler Kennedy - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tanner Glass
Eric Tangradi - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Kris Letang
Deryk Engelland - Ben Lovejoy
Winnipeg (1-1-1) (via Penguins website)
Andrew Ladd - Nik Antropov - Bryan Little
Evander Kane - Olli Jokinen - Blake Wheeler
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Alexander Burmistrov - Kyle Wellwood
James Wright - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn
Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart - Ron Hainsey
Grant Clitsome - Paul Postma
The last time they met:
March 20, 2012 - Pittsburgh 8, Winnipeg 4