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Penguins/Panthers preview

Saturday night hockey in Pittsburgh!

NHL: Florida Panthers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers @ Pittsburgh Penguins

SBN Blog: Litterbox Cats

Expected lines:

—Sid and the Kids are back, which is cool. Bryan Rust is actually the leading scorer of the team five games into the season (7 points, 1g+6a) and now gets a shot to give the Malkin+Kessel line a shot in the arm.

Greg McKegg gets to play with the Swedish best friends and the 4th line remains as it has been for a while now.

—Defenseman Ian Cole skated this morning but isn’t quite ready to play after a puck to the chops last week, so Chad Ruhwedel will be back in the lineup.


The Panthers come into tonight having only played 3 games on the season, sporting a 2-1-0 record. They defeated the St. Louis Blues their last game out on Thursday night by a score of 5-2.


Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Evgeni Dadonov

Jamie McGinn - Vincent Trocheck - Radim Vrbata

Connor Brinkley - Jared McCann - Nick Bjugstad

Micheal Haley - Derek McKenzie - Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle / Aaron Ekblad

Michael Matheson / Mark Pysyk

Ian McCoshen / Alex Petrovic

Player to watch: Due to the market he plays in, Barkov may be the most under-rated star player in the game today. The 22-year old is off to a good start to the season (no goals, but 3 assists in 3 games) and will be counted on this year to stay healthy and along with Huberdeau be the driving forces in trying to get Florida back to the playoffs.

As Litterbox Cats pointed out, the Panthers have played very well to open the season, especially offensively

On Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena, the Penguins will be facing a club that has boosted its confidence under a first-year coach based on what has happened early in the season.

The Florida Panthers (2-1-0) have scored 13 goals in their first three games, a franchise-record start on offense. They have piled up a whopping 122 shots. Their wins have come against projected contender Tampa Bay and previously undefeated St. Louis. Their loss was against the Lightning.

Should be interesting to see how this one unfolds, we’ll have two rested teams that both are edging towards high-octane offense so far this year.