Hello and welcome to Thursday. If it's Thursday, that means the weekend is coming, and if the weekend is coming that probably means a lot of hockey games for the Pittsburgh Penguins. After a whole one day off the Pens get ready for another stretch of three games in four days- at home tonight vs. the Los Angeles Kings, up the road for a quick visit to the playoff-battling Columbus Blue Jackets, a rare Saturday off, to make way for a rare Sunday evening home game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
That'll buy the Pens 1 game in three days (home vs. Carolina on Tuesday) before kicking off another 3 games in 4 day stretch starting next Thursday, which will be the final road trip of the regular season to Winnipeg, Minnesota and Colorado.
But, first things first, the Kings
Morning line rushes: Kunitz-Crosby-Stempniak Jokinen-Sutter-Neal Pyatt-Goc-Gibbons Glass-Adams-Megna— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 27, 2014
#Pens D-pairings from morning skate: Orpik-Bortuzzo Niskanen-Maatta Despres-Scuderi Letang-Engelland— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 27, 2014
No major changes or surprises here. The lines are what they are at this point, and without Evgeni Malkin (foot out 2-3 weeks), Pittsburgh doesn't look great on paper. But with three tough teams on the schedule, little pity is expected. The Pens will have to dig deep and play a smart, clean game against the Kings to get back to their winning ways.
And it's not that special, but getting a win (or an OT loss) will officially clinch a playoff spot, so that's cool too. Go Pens.