The Florida Panthers look to keep rolling out of the gate tonight as visit Pittsburgh for a game against the Crosby-less Penguins.

 

Florida opened the season Saturday night in Long Island where they shutout the Islanders 2-0 thanks to 27-saves by goaltender Jose Theodore in his first game as a Panther. The two goals come thanks to forward Stephen Weiss and defenseman Jason Garrison, each tallying their first of the season. Brian Campbell had two assists on the night in his Panthers debut.

 

On the other end of the ice, Pittsburgh has already played 3-games this season, all of which were on the road, but they will finally play their home opener tonight. The Pens went 2-0-1 to start the season on the road. After a two game winning streak, Pittsburgh escaped Edmonton Sunday night with a point as they lost 2-1 in a shootout. Ales Hemsky of the Oilers scored the winner as he put the puck past Brent Johnson for the victory.

 

Unfortunately, the Penguins lost center Evgeni Malkin in the ice, who left the ice during the pre-game skate with which was declared to be a lower body injury. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma did not rule out Malkins return tonight, but it does seem as if he will not be in the lineup, a big loss for the Penguins, who were depending on him to really step up this season after the injury to superstar, Sidney Crosby.

 

Florida, who had 11 new faces appear in their lineup on Saturday night compared to last season, look to keep the ball rolling, as they try to end an ugly 11-year playoff drought. Defenseman Brian Campbell, who made his debut Saturday night played 30:04 minutes, and led the way with 2 assists in the victory.

 

Last season, Pittsburgh swept the 4-game season series last season (3-2, 2-5, 1-2 SO, and 4-2), and the Panthers haven’t beaten the Penguins since January 3rd, 2010.

 

Breakdown

 

Pittsburgh Penguins: (2-0-1) (0-0-0 Home)

Florida Panthers: (1-0-0) (1-0-0 Road)

 

Powerplay: PIT (31.2% 5th NHL) – FLA (20.0% 8th NHL)

 

Penalty Kill: PIT (100% tied 1st NHL) – FLA (100% tied 1st NHL)

 

GF/GA: PIT (9GF , tied 2rd NHL / 7GA, tied 14th NHL) – FLA (2GF , tied 25th NHL / 0GA , 1st NHL)  

 

Key Injuries:

Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby (Concussion), Evgeny Malkin (Lower Body , Questionable) , Brooks Orpik (Hernia Surgery, Questionable)

 

Florida Panthers: Mike Santorelli (Shoulder)

 

 

Adam Reid

adam_mapleleafs@hotmail.com