Friday, March 09, 2012

Game #67 - vs Florida Panthers

2011-12 Game 67

Florida Panthers (31-23-12, 74 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (40-21-5, 85 points)

Campbell is a -5 in three games this season against the Penguins.  Get Malkin out there against him!

Why does it matter?

With a win by the Penguins tonight (and a loss by the Rangers in Chicago), the Pens could pull within four points of the top spot in the Eastern Conference (and the top of the Atlantic division).  If they're not going to finish in the #6 spot, the #1 spot is as good as any since there's a big drop off between the #7 and #8 spot.  Games like these are critical to having a chance at the #1 seed, especially with Sid possibly returning on Sunday.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - The second line carried the day as the Pens came from behind to beat the Maple Leafs.
  • Panthers - Three losses in four games.  In their past two road games, they've been shut out by a combined score of 12-0.
Questions to be answered
  • Will the power play for the Pittsburgh Penguins please report to Consol Energy Center?  Power play to the Consol Energy Center, please?
  • Will it be a shooting gallery again?  The Pens fired 41 shots in each of the past two meetings with the Panthers.  That, combined with the recent road results for the Kitty Cats, doesn't bode well for them.
  • Is this a trap game?  With Crosby due to return soon, the Panthers being crappy lately and the Pens reliance on playing from behind, this could be the game where things are topsy-turvy.
Keys to the game
  • Get the top line going.  They were shut out against Toronto.
  • Execute on special teams.  The PK for the Panthers has been pretty bad.
  • Matchups - there are some good ones to be had against the Panthers.

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