Preview: Penguins @ Panthers, 2/15/16

Game #57
Pittsburgh Penguins (28-18-7 / 63 PTS) @ Florida Panthers (32-18-6 / 70 PTS)  
Monday, February 15th, 2016 – 7:30PM EST
BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL

Between the Lines

The Panthers and Penguins will meet for the 3rd time this season and the 2nd time in just over a week on Monday night in Sunrise. Florida is coming off it’s 2nd straight loss after being shutout 5-0 on Saturday night at the hands of the Nashville Predators. Quinton Howden was lost to a check to the head while Brandon Pirri went into the boards left foot first and was on crutches after the game. Pirri is expected to be out for awhile while Howden is reportedly OK with no timeline for return.

The few players that spoke to the media as well as head coach Gerard Gallant, who was thrown out of the game for expressing his dissatisfaction for the officiating, all acknowledged that the effort level being displayed over the past few games is not enough. Gallant went so far as to say it’s been “pathetic” and admitted he would not be telling his team anything prior to the Sunday which was a day off for team. “They know,” he said before stating that men would be able to get through a rough patch of adversity such as the one the team is going through now.

The Penguins have not played since Friday when they defeated the Hurricanes 2-1 in a shootout. Evgeni Malkin is expected to miss his 6th straight game due to a lower body injury while Nick Bonino will miss his 13th consecutive game with a hand injury. Aleksander Barkov and Willie Mitchell are both not expected to suit up for Monday’s game, although there is a slight chance that Erik Gudbranson could. The Panthers called up forward Greg McKegg on Sunday afternoon from the Portland Pirates and placed Barkov on the IR retroactive to last Monday.

The Penguins defeated the Panthers 3-2 in overtime on February 6th thanks to 3 straight goals after being down 2-0 late in the 3rd period.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
11 Huberdeau – 27 Bjugstad – 36 Jokinen L1 14 Kunitz  – 87 Crosby – 72 Hornqvist
18 Smith – 21 Trocheck – 68 Jagr L2 62 Hagelin – Cullen – 81 Kessel
45 McFarland– 17 MacKenzie – 48 Shaw L3 34 Kuhnhackl – 40 Sundqvist – 17 Rust
28 Wilson – 41 McKegg – 22 Thornton L4 23 Wilson – 11 Porter – 43 Sheary
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D1 3 Maatta – 58 Letang
51 Campbell – 37 Regner D2 6 Daley – 8 Dumoulin
Kampfer – Petrovic D3 12 Lovejoy – 51 Pouliot
35 Montoya – Luongo G 29 Fleury – 37 Zatkoff
Howden, Pirri, Bolland X Cole
Mitchell, Gudbranson, Barkov INJ Malkin, Bennett, Bonino, Warsofsky, Fehr, Dupuis

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 17 23 40
2. Jussi Jokinen 12 28 40
3. Jonathan Huberdeau 10 28 38
4. Vincent Trocheck 17 18 35
5. Aleksander Barkov 16 19 35

Pittsburgh Penguins

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Sidney Crosby 24 29 53
2. Evgeni Malkin 23 26 49
3. Kris Letang 9 31 40
4. Phil Kessel 16 19 35
5. Patric Hornqvist 11 19 30

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Al Montoya 8-4-1 .926 2.06

Pittsburgh Penguins

Name Record Save % GAA
Marc-Andre Fleury 22-13-5 .921 2.37
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