The Pittsburgh Penguins continue their three-game home-stand Friday night against the Florida Panthers. The Penguins are coming off a heart-wrenching 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, while the Panthers come into Pittsburgh after defeating the aforementioned Flyers, 5-2.
When and where: Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA); 7:00 p.m. (ROOT Sports, RDS2)
Season series: First meeting of the season
Last meeting: The last time the Panthers and Penguins met up, and the last time Florida visited Pittsburgh was March 9, 2012. The Penguins fell behind 1-0 in the second period, and the score remained that way until Steve Sullivan scored his fourteenth goal of the season to tie the game at one. It would take a shootout to settle things as both James Neal and Evgeni Malkin scored for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury denied both Panthers shooters to give the Penguins the 2-1 victory.
Jacob Markstrom: Alright, he is somewhat familiar, but Jacob Markstrom has never faced the Penguins. Therefore, we enter another episode of “The Curse of the Unknown Goaltender.” The twenty-three year old Swedish product hasn’t appeared in a game in the NHL this season, but in thirty-three games with the San Antonio Rampage, he registered a 2.65 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
Themselves: After the action-packed, intense game with the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night, the Penguins will have to keep their focus against, based on league standings, a lesser team. As phenomenal as the Panthers looked last season, is how ugly they look this season. Pittsburgh will have to not play down to their opponent if they want to be successful.
Former Penguin alert: RW Alex Kovalev
Panthers: D Ed Jovanovski (knee), LW Scottie Upshall (ankle),
RW Kris Versteeg (chest), D Michael Caruso (arm), LW Sean Bergenheim (groin)
-Never forget the rats (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5Z-8CwjUDk).
-Alex Kovalev enters tonight with 599 career assists.
Projected lines (via Empty Netters):
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-9 Pascal Dupuis
24 Matt Cooke-71 Evgeni Malkin (A)-18 James Neal
19 Beau Bennett-16 Brandon Sutter-48 Tyler Kennedy
10 Tanner Glass-15 Dustin Jeffrey-27 Craig Adams
2 Matt Niskanen-58 Kris Letang
44 Brooks Orpik-7 Paul Martin
41 Robert Bortuzzo/47 Simon Despres-5 Deryk Engelland
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
82 Tomas Kopecky-9 Stephen Weiss (A)-14 Tomas Fleischmann
11 Jonathan Huberdeau-15 Drew Shore-88 Peter Mueller
12 Jack Skille-57 Marcel Goc-18 Shawn Matthias
27 Alex Kovalev-25 Jerred Smithson-22 George Parros
51 Brian Campbell (A)-7 Dmitry Kulikov
17 Filip Kuba-43 Mike Weaver
44 Erik Gudbranson-23 Tyson Strachan
35 Jacob Markstrom