Penguins Game Day (Game 28: Maple Leafs)
For the second time in less than a week the Penguins will travel north of the boarder to face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Game Time 7:00 pm est.
Pittsburgh(19-8-0) @ Toronto(15-11-1)
Last Meeting: Penguins win 5-4
Just .36 seconds into the Game, James Neal scores to put the Penguins up 1-0. It wasn’t until nearly half the period was over that JVR put Toronto on the board with a Powerplay Goal. From that point on though it was a big Penguins effort as Crosby and Martin each put one in the net taking a 3-1 lead into the 2nd period. Cody Franson got things started in the 2nd for Toronto as he scored his second of the year pulling within one goal. Dupuis Quickly added a fourth goal in response but Toronto wasn’t done. Scoring one more in the second (MacArthur) and adding the tying goal in the third (Kessel) the game headed to Overtime. Both teams had their chances in the extra five minutes but were unable to convert. James Neal and Sidney Crosby scored in the shootout as Fleury stopped attempts by Bozak and Kadri for the Win.
What to Watch For
The Pittsburgh Penguin Offense has been on Fire this season leading the league in goals 100 as well as goals per game 3.63.
Toronto is hungry for a Playoff berth, and they know to be successful they need to be able to compete and win games against power house teams like the Penguins. I would expect to see Toronto playing with desire and heart as they take on Pittsburgh in what may be their final meeting of the year.
Chris Kunitz, Mr. Sock Monkey himself has shocked the hockey word by his success this season. Playing on a line with Crosby and Dupuis he has been able to rack up 18 goals and 37 points. If he continues this pace he could easily have a career year notching 67 points. Not to bad for an undrafted player.
In one of the most baffling moves by Philly this off season, Toronto was able to acquire James Van Riemsdyke from the Flyers in exchange for Luke Schenn. What a steal that has been for Toronto as he is become the leading goal producer on the team with 14 goals and third on the team with 21 points. He is a dangerous player who is willing to go to the tough places to score goals.
(Unconfirmed) PIT: Marc Andre Fleury 13-5-0 / 2.67GAA / .901SV%
(Unconfirmed) TOR: James Reimer 9-4-1 / 2.79GAA / .916SV%
There is still no solid information regarding Malkin’s injury sustained 3/9/2013 against the Maple Leafs. It is believed to be a shoulder injury and he is expected to be back in the line up within the next week to week in a half.
Great Article at penguins.nhl.com about the success of Kris Letang.
“He’s really welcomed the challenge of getting better and doing more things,” forward Chris Kunitz said. “I know he spends a lot of time watching video and trying to get better and learn the game. That’s a (testament) to him and the maturity he’s getting. (Playing with him) makes it a lot easier on us forwards.”
Around The League
Solid Article on the 25 players most likely to be dealt by Trade Deadline, which is less than 3 weeks away now. Thefourthperiod.com
Kings GM Dean Lombardi has been given the green light to spend to the Cap this season. Thefourthperiod.com It makes sense now as the Kings have turned it on as of late and have become playoff contenders once again.
The Mighty Blackhawks have now lost two in a row to non playoff teams. Colorado(15) and Edmonton(12).
Question of the day: Will the Penguins high scoring offense be successful in the Playoffs?
As the Great Badger Bob would say. “It’s a Great Day for Hockey!”
You can follow Robert Via Twitter @Rsalvi_HTPens