Saturday, March 31, 2007

Game #79 - at Toronto Maple Leafs

Pittsburgh Penguins (45-23-10, 100 pts) at Toronto Maple Leafs (37-29-11, 85 pts)

Prior meetings:
Pens 6, Leafs 5 (OT) on February 10th in Toronto
Pens 8, Leafs 2 on January 20th in Pittsburgh
Pens 4, Leafs 1 on December 29th in Pittsburgh

The Pens need a win tonight to keep pace with the Devils and Senators. Getting home-ice advantage for at least one series is key for the Pens. They play much better at home, especially on special teams.

The Leafs have been somewhat hot lately overall, but at home they've been lethal. They haven't lost at home since their Buffalo game on March 3rd. The most recent two home games (against Carolina and the Sabres), they've outscored their opponents by 10-2.

Special teams have been a bit of a struggle for the Leafs lately. The power play hasn't had a multiple goal game since January 27th (!!) and their PK has been sporadically leaky.

The Pens, on the other hand, have a red hot power play and penalty kill. The power play has 7 goals in it's last 16 chances, while the PK has allowed only two goals in the last 7 games, stopping 27 of 29 chances.

The Leafs need the one more than the Pens do, so it will be a good test to see how the Pens respond to a team that has their back to the playoff wall.

Leafs blog - Bring Back Potvin
Check this one out for a nice summary of exactly what needs to happen for the Leafs tonight. They're hoping the Flyers to beat the Rangers. I'm hoping for that too. Now that the Pens are in the playoffs, I'm cheering like crazy for the Rangers not to make it.

Should be a good one tonight. The atmosphere will be like a playoff game, just like several games in recent memory. I think the Pens pull it out and sweep the Leafs for the first time in almost 10 years.

Let's Go Pens!

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