Pittsburgh Penguins @ Florida Panthers
Puck drop: 7:38 PM Eastern, AT&T Sportsnet, 105.9 The X
SBN Blog: Litterbox Cats
Expected lines (from practice Thursday, no pre game skate today):
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Conor Sheary
Bryan Rust - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel
Carl Hagelin - Greg McKegg - Patric Hornqvist
Tom Kuhnhackl - Carter Rowney - Ryan Reaves
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
Ian Cole / Justin Schultz
Olli Maatta / Chad Ruhwedel
—Zach Trotman will be on the Penguins roster for the first time, expected to be the 7th defenseman. Chris Summers, who had been up for a while and a scratch every game, was sent back to the AHL to be able and play some.
—Matt Hunwick (concussion) remains off the ice and is not going to game action return in the near future.
—The Pens haven’t announced a starter as of press time yet. They have to play again tomorrow night and backup Antti Niemi hasn’t looked sharp in 2 starts, both on the second night of back-to-backs. Might they play Niemi tonight and use Matt Murray tomorrow in Tampa? Stay tuned..
After losing in Pittsburgh last Saturday night, the Panthers only played one game this week and it was a 5-1 loss to Philly. They enter the game with a 2-3-0 record and will also be traveling tonight to play the Caps tomorrow.
Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Evgeni Dadonov
Jamie McGinn - Vincent Trocheck - Radim Vrbata
Nick Bjugstad - Jared McCann - Owen Tippett
Micheal Haley - Derek McKenzie - Colton Sceviour
Keith Yandle / Aaron Ekblad
Michael Matheson / Mark Pysyk
Mackenzie Weegar / Alex Petrovic
—One change to the Florida lineup is 23-year old Weegar in the lineup making his season debut. He played 3 NHL games last year. Never heard of the former 7th round pick so I guess we’ll see what he’s got.
—Another change worth watching will be the addition of Tippett to the lineup. The 18-year old was Florida’s first round pick and a healthy scratch last week against the Pens. He made his NHL debut in the Philly game, firing off an impressive 7 shots on goal in just 11:39 of time. As a fast-skating RW with a good shot, he’s been compared favorably in some circles to a young Phil Kessel-type of player.
—I’ve seen conflicting reports about if James Reimer (who gave up 4 goals to the Pens on Sat) will play or if it will be starter Roberto Luongo. With another game tomorrow night, they also have to consider how to manage the starts.
Player to watch: From what we saw last week, it’s Huberdeau. He scored two goals on the Pens and looked dangerous all night long. Western PA native Vincent Trocheck is probably one of the better players that no one really mentions all that much either in the national media scope.