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Preview: Penguins @ Panthers 10/20/2017

The Penguins hit the road to take on the Florida Panthers. We preview what to watch for

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Florida Panthers Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

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.