Friday, February 22, 2013

Penguins Game 18 Preview - vs. Florida Panthers

Florida Panthers

7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Last Penguins Game:
February 20, 2013 - Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 5 [Recap]


The Penguins are back on the ice after taking part in one of the best regular season hockey games I can remember which they lost to the Flyers while the Pathers are back on the ice after routing the Flyers last night 5-2 at the Wells Fargo Center. We should note that the Panthers aren't a good hockey team at all. They have five wins so far this season and the win against Philadelphia snapped a five game losing skid where they were shut out in three of those games. Interesting though that in the other two losses they scored five goals and still lost. No idea what is going on in Florida but last night proved that if you look down on them, or don't come out focused, they can beat you. They scored three goals in a two minute span in the middle of the first period but were pretty quiet after that so I think as long as you don't give them goals in bunches the Penguins should be alright. Granted, you can say that about most teams but I think you get my point.

Jonathan Huberdeau is maybe the big name that you don't really hear about. He was drafted third overall in the 2011 entry draft and is only 19 years old. While he is a youngster he is leading the team in both goals (eight) and points (13). He had a pretty slick penalty shot goal last night and will be the focal point of the offense going forward for the Panthers.

The Panthers will go with Jacob Markstrom in net and this kid is huge. He stands at 6'6 and weighs just shy of 200 pounds so he is a big boy. He was the first round draft pick of the Panthers back in 2008 and this will be his ninth game of his carreer. He played in seven games last season and went 2-4-1 with a 2.66 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. Last season with AHL affiliate San Antonio Rampage he went 17-12-1 with a 2.32 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

Marc Andre Fleury is back in the net for the Penguins after getting a game off against the Flyers on Wednesday night. Fleury has been pretty outstanding this month and coming off a loss the Penguins are going to need a good goaltending effort to get two more points on the board for them. Hopefully the defense plays a little better than they did against Philadelphia.

The Probables:

Pittsburgh (11-6-0)

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

Defense
Matt Niskanen - Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Simon Despres - Deryk Engelland

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


Florida (5-7-4)

Forwards
Tomas Kopecky - Stephen Weiss - Tomas Fleischmann
Jonathan Huberdeau - Drew Shore - Peter Mueller
Jack Skille - Marcel Goc - Shawn Matthias
Alex Kovalev - Jerred Smithson - George Parros

Defense
Brian Campbell - Dmitry Kulikov
Filip Kuba - Mike Weaver
Erik Gudbranson - Tyson Strachan

Goaltender
Jacob Markstrom


The Last Time They Met:
March 9, 2012 - Pittsburgh 2, Florida 1 (SO)

The Stats:

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