Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Game #69 - at Florida Panthers

Pittsburgh Penguins (38-23-7, 83 pts) at Florida Panthers (30-31-8, 68 pts)

He's back.

Bouwmeester is not only a good young defenseman, he has a funny name!

The Panthers figure to make one more push towards the playoffs. They're sitting six points out of the 8th and final spot, and they'd have to jump over three teams between them and Philadelphia. That's not very likely.

Their path of least resistance is to catch Carolina for the division. They're only 5 points behind Carolina (yes, the Southeast division leader has fewer points than the 8th seed in the East... pathetic).

The other thing the Panthers have going for them is they're opening a 7 game home stand. Traditionally, they're tough at home. This year.... not so much. On top of that, they've lost every game started by their number one goalie (Vokoun) since the middle of February.

The main thing the Kitty Cats have going for them right now is Craig Anderson. He has stopped the last 793 shots he faced. Okay, it's not that many, but he has two straight shutouts and neither one was easy (53 and 40 shots, respectively). He's not used much, so I'm expecting (hoping) that he'll break down against the Pens.

Speaking of the Pens (this is a Penguins blog, after all), Jordan Staal should be fine to play. He has bruised ribs. Crosby and Whitney are both okay to go. No word on Hossa.

Fleury will be in net. You can expect to see Flower as long as he plays well, as the Pens don't have any back-to-back games until the second half of the month.

The Pens have a chance to sweep the season series with the Panthers. That would be sweet.

Let's Go Pens!

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