Sunday, February 10, 2013

Penguins Game 13 Preview - vs. New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils

7:30 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Last Penguins Game:
February 9, 2013 - New Jersey 3, Pittsburgh 1 [Recap]

The Penguins had their five game winning streak stopped yesterday and they get to go right back at it today when they faceoff against the Devils again. Things will be a little different as Tomas Vokoun and Johan Hedberg are going to get the starts for their respective teams but I would expect to see things much the same as yesterday, game plan wise. The Penguins will be on home ice so that will give them a chance to match up lines as they wish but all told the Penguins are going to see a lot of the Ilya Kovalchuk and of Kovalchuk himself as he played over 30 minutes yesterday which is ridiculous. It isn't uncommon to see player play 30 minutes in a regulation game but for a forward to do it that is just unheard of.

Adam Gretz did some great work on the rarity of forwards playing 30+ minutes:







Outstanding work by Adam there.

Kovalchuk also played over 15 minutes of power play time and nearly four minutes of penalty kill time. You might knock him but that is an outstanding effort and he was the difference in the game yesterday.

On the Penguins side they put Kris Letang on IR and called up Joe Morrow. That isn't as scary as it may sound as Letang is retroactively placed on the IR which means that he can come back off it on Tuesday after being on it for the mandatory week. Basically this was a roster shuffle move to be able to bring up another body since the team is starting to get a little banged up and they were already at the 23 man limit.

Morrow might find his way into the lineup tonight but that was readily available at the time of this posting. From reading a little bit from a few people like Mike Colligan and Brian Metzer they seem to think this will be a getting your foot wet type of game and not to expect Morrow to be a long term solution up here. Morrow did look outstanding in camp in 2011 but hasn't been as consistent and you want him to be. It takes a while to get things rounded out as a prospect on defense and while the hot on a lot of people's minds that doesn't mean he is ready to contribute in the NHL right now.

Big game for the Penguins to get back in the drives seat in the Atlantic and to get back on the winning track. I would doubt that we see the undisciplined team that racked up 29 penalty minutes yesterday and if they can do that this will be a much different game.

The Probables:

Penguins (8-4-0)

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Zach Boychuk - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams

Defense
Simon Despres - Dylan Reese
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Robert Bortuzzo - Deryk Engelland

Goaltender
Tomas Vokoun


New Jersey (7-1-3)

Forwards
Adam Henrique - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
Dainius Zubrus - Patrik Elias - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Krys Barch - Jacob Josefson - Peter Harrold

Defense
Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov
Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Henrik Tallinder - Marek Zidlicky

Goaltender
Johan Hedberg


The Season Series (Tied 1-1-0)

February 9, 2013 - New Jersey 3, Pittsburgh 1

February 2, 2013 - Pittsburgh 5, New Jersey 1   The Stats

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