Preview: Panthers @ Penguins, 10/20/15

10/20/15 – 7:00 PM ET 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Panthers (3-2-0) 0
@ Penguins (2-3-0) 0

At A Glance

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 4 3 7
2. Aleksander Barkov 3 3 6
3. Reilly Smith 2 2 4
4. Brandon Pirri 1 3 4
5.Vincent Trocheck 1 3 4

Pittsburgh Penguins

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Evgeni Malkin 2 1 3
2. Kris Letang 1 1 2
3. Phil Kessel 1 1 2
4. Beau Bennett 1 0 1
5. Olli Maatta 1 0 1

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 2-2-0 .948 1.76

Pittsburgh Penguins

Name Record Save % GAA
Marc-Andre Fleury 2-3-0 .937 1.82

Projected Lineups

Florida_Panthers.svg VS. 205px-Pittsburgh_Penguins_logo.svg
11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 14 Kunitz – 87 Crosby – 81 Kessel
73 Pirri – 27 Bjugstad – 18 Smith L2 57 Perron – 71 Malkin – 72 Hornqvist
36 Jokinen – 63 Bolland – 21 Trocheck L3 11 Porter – 13 Bonino – 61 Plotnikov
42 Howden – 17 MacKenzie – 86 Brickley L4 24 Farnham – 7 Cullen – 17 Rust
51 Campbell – 5 Ekblad D1 3 Maatta – 2 Clendening
7 Kulikov – 6 Petrovic D2 28 Cole – 58 Letang
33 Mitchell – 44 Gudbranson D3 8 Doumolin – 12 Lovejoy
 1 Luongo G1 29 Fleury
 35 Montoya G2 37 Zatkoff
 3 Kampfer, 4 Olsen, 22 Thornton X 16 Fehr, 41 Sprong
 Savard, Hodges IR Bennett, Dupuis

Between the Lines

The Panthers are coming off their 2nd loss of the season which came at home on Saturday night to the Dallas Stars.The Stars scored 4 straight goals to seal the deal after the Panthers started the scoring in the 2nd period on an Aleksander Barkov goal, which was challenged by Coach Gerard Gallant, and a Brandon Pirri 5-hole shot on a breakaway. Turnovers, poor defensive coverage, poorly timed penalties allowed the Stars to come roaring back and win the game 4-2. We’ve chronicled the Panthers’ need to give complete efforts in our latest post here. Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh kicks off a three-game road-trip for the Cats which also brings them to Chicago on Thursday and Dallas on Saturday for a rematch.

“We had the game in our hands,” said Aleksander Barkov.

The Penguins will face Florida for the first time this season after earning their 2nd win of the season at home against Toronto on Saturday night by a score of 2-1. They’ve won 2 games in a row – over which they’ve allowed just one goal – after dropping their first 3 to the Stars, Arizona, and Montreal. Evgeni Malkin and Olli Maatta tallied the 2 Penguin goals in the first period against Toronto and that would be just enough to secure the win, and Marc-Andre Fleury earned his 324th win in his 600th career NHL game. Sidney Crosby has yet to earn a point this season thereby matching his longest career scoring drought of 5 games.

Both Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel are poised to break out of their respective scoring slumps so it will be imperative that the Panthers be aware of them when they’re on the ice in addition to Evgeni Malgin and Kris Letang. Jonathan Huberdeau will be looking to leave his scoring slump behind as well with just 2 points in 5 games. The Panthers and Penguins are tied for 3rd in the league with just 9 goals allowed since the start of the season so it’s very possible that tonight’s matchup could be a defensive affair. However, the Panthers have scored 15 goals in total while the Penguins have scored just 7 so perhaps the Panthers will have the offensive edge.

Who’s hot?

Aleksander Barkov has been impressive both offensively and defensively. He’s in the midst of both a 3-game goal streak as well as a 3-game point streak while Jaromir Jagr has 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 3 games. Evgeni Malkin has 2 goals in his last 2 games as part of a 3-game point streak, and rookie Daniel Sprong scored his first career NHL goal on Thursday against Ottawa. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has won his last 2 games and shutout the Senators on Thursday night.

Pre-Game Reading

Recap: Stars @ Panthers, 10/17/15

Panthers searching for complete efforts early in the season

Panthers’ Prospects Update #1: Hawryluk points aplenty

Tyler Seguin scores twice — including the game-winner — as Stars rally from 2-0 hole to beat Panthers 4-2 – by George Richards, Miami Herald

Tyler Seguin gains vengeance, leads Stars to 4-2 win over Panthers – by Harvey Fialkov, Sun-Sentinel

Last Game Played

The Panthers faced the Stars on Thursday night for their fifth game of the season and lost 4-2. You can find a link to our recap of that game under the “Pre-Game Reading” section above. The Panthers are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games against the Penguins and went 1-2 in three games last season. The last time the two teams met was on February 22nd when the Penguins won 5-1, with Scottie Upshall scoring the lone goal for the Panthers.

Here’s the NHL video recap of the Panthers’ last game which was against the Stars:

Pre-game Tweets


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