7:30 p.m., BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida
The Last Penguins Game - Pittsburgh 5, Carolina 2 [Recap]
The Penguins are coming off a very good first three games of the season and as I have said in a few previews before that the Penguins have played a pretty soft schedule and they haven't been on the road yet. Well tonight they are going to be playing on the road but they aren't going to be playing a better team as they are going to be playing the Florida Panthers who have all of one win and seven goals in four games with four of those goals coming in the season opener. They have also given up 18 goals including a pair of games where they have given up seven goal in each of them. Yikes. Furthermore the Panthers are 1-for-21 on the power play while the Penguins are a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.
Tonight is going to be a pretty significant night for goaltender Jeff Zatkoff who is going to make his first NHL start ever. Zatkoff was thrust into the backup roll after Tomas Vokoun went down at the beginning of the year and will miss almost the entire season (if not the rest of the season) and he will get his first chance tonight. Last season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton he played in 49 games and held a 1.93 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. You have to think Dan Bylsma is getting him in there against one of their not so tough opponents to get him so confidence and for the fact that he probably wants Marc-Andre Fleury to get an extra days rest before going to Tampa Bay tomorrow.
The Panthers aren't all that good, as I have noted. They still have some good talent as second year player Jonathan Huberdeau gave the Penguins a really hard time and they also have Scott Gomez for whatever that is worth. Oh yea, former Penguins player Ryan Whitney now plays for the Panthers. So, there's that.
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - Beau Bennett
Dustin Jeffrey - Brandon Sutter - Chuck Kobasew
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi - Matt Niskanen
Olli Maatta - Robert Bortuzzo
Panthers (1-3-0) (via DailyFaceoff)
Jonathan Huberdeau - Marcel Goc - Kris Versteeg
Tomas Fleischmann - Aleksander Barkov - Brad Boyes
Jesse Winchester - Shawn Matthias - Tomas Kopecky
Scottie Upshall - Scott Gomez - Joey Crabb
Brian Campbell - Tom Gilbert
Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver
Erik Gudbranson - Ryan Whitney