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Pens Preview Game 47- Panthers vs. Penguins: Wildcards

Fresh Off Of More OT Woes, The Pens Face The Team Seeking The Same Wildcard Spot

Pittsburgh Penguins Bryan Rust vs. Florida Panthers
Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images.

Overtime has become quite the puzzle for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They dropped their second OT game in a week to the Devils on Sunday. Making their season OT record a dismaying 2-8 overall. They simply can't close wins beyond regulation. It's a vital issue when it appears the season is going to come down to the wire and every single point left on the table counts.


As they try to sort out those issues the Florida Panthers are on the prowl for the playoff spot the Penguins' are tenuously grasping. The 16th-place Pens are just three points (54) ahead of the Panthers (51) in the second Eastern Conference wildcard spot. The Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders also sit at 51 points and are nipping at Pittsburgh's heels.


The Pens desperately need to gain more ground on these teams quickly. That starts with facing Florida on Tuesday at home. The Penguins have defeated the Panthers once already in 2022-23 so they know the way to victory. And the South Florida team is missing their number one goalie Sergei Bobrovsky due to injury. The path to winning is lit, the follow-through is now up to the Pens alone.


GAME INFO

Pens Game #47: Penguins vs Panthers

Date: January 24, 2022

Time: 7 PM (ET)

Place: Pittsburgh, PA

Venue: PPG Paints Arena

Broadcasts: Local- ATTSN, National- ESPN+

Social Media Hashtags #: #LetsGoPens #TimeToHunt


TEAM MATCHUP

Records- PIT: 23-15-8, FLA: 23-21-5

Last 10- PIT: 4-4-2, FLA: 6-3-1

Streaks- PIT: 1 Loss, FLA: 1 Loss

Standings- PIT: 16th, FLA: 19th

Points- PIT: 54, FLA: 51

Season Series- 1-0 PIT

Series Goals For- PIT: 4, FLA: 2

PIT Goal Scorers- Kris Letang, Jake Guentzel (2), Evgeni Malkin.

FLA Goal Scorers- Ryan Lomberg, Sam Reinhart.


TEAM ANALYTICS

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Florida Panthers
Analytics via JFresh Hockey.

GOALIE MATCHUP

Projected starting goalies:

-TRISTAN JARRY- #35

[Pittsburgh Penguins]

Bio Info: 6' 2", 194 lbs. DOB: 4/29/1995 (27). From: Surrey, BC

Drafted: 2013- Rd 2, Pk 44 (PIT). Experience: 7th Season

Record: 16-5-5, 2.65 GAA, .921 SV%

Career vs. FLA: 3-2-0, 3.09 GAA, .909 SV%

🆚

-SPENCER KNIGHT- #30

[Florida Panthers]

Bio Info: 6' 3", 192 lbs. DOB: 4/19/2001 (21). From: Darien, CT

Drafted: 2019: Rd 1, Pk 13 (FLA). Experience: 2nd Season

Record: 9-7-3, 3.05 GAA, .906 SV%

Career vs. PIT: Debut

PENGUINS UPDATE

-In potential return news, Kris Letang and Josh Archibald took full practice. Letang was slotted into the line rushes too ahead of the matchup with Florida.


-Kasperi Kapanen skated for the first time since injury before the morning skate on Tuesday.


-The Pens' had their fourth-lowest shots-against tally of the season on Sunday at 25. They still couldn't make it count with a regulation win.


-Sunday was the Pens' third overtime game in the last week and second OT loss. The extra minutes of these games are starting to add up on the oldest team in the league. They've already gone to overtime on ten occasions this year. That matches up exactly with the number of times they went passed regulation to OT or shootouts last season to this point. The concern there is of course the Penguins ultimately ended their season as the statistical favorites over the New York Rangers in Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a Game Seven overtime loss. This is an elemental issue for this team that's proven to have to have the greatest cost for them imaginable: closing yet another year of their contending window. Fixing this issue should be of tremendous concern for the Penguins.


-Jeff Petry's return to play has been a smashing success. He's ranked in the top five game scores of both Penguins' games since his comeback from an injury that held him out for over a month. Petry was the second-best performing Pen vs. New Jersey with a gamescore of 1.12. And the fifth best vs. Ottawa at a 1.06 gamescore. (Scores via Hockey Stat Cards.) He has an assist and 4 shots in each game in about 25:00 ice time.


-Injury Report-

-Josh Archibald (F): LTIR, lower body, day-to-day.

-Kris Letang (D): LTIR, lower body, day-to-day.

-Kasperi Kapanen (F): lower body, week-to-week.

-Jan Rutta (D): upper body, day-to-day.


-Pens Lines-

The projected Penguins lines for Tuesday, January 24th vs. the Florida Panthers:


(Forwards)

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell

Brock McGinn - Teddy Blueger- Jeff Carter

Drew O'Connor - Ryan Poehling - Danton Heinen


(Defense)

Kris Letang - Brian Dumoulin

Marcus Pettersson - Jeff Petry

P. O. Joseph - Chad Ruhwedel


(Special Teams)

PP1: Malkin, Crosby, Guentzel, Rakell, Petry

PP2: Carter, Rust, Zucker, Heinen, Joseph

PK1: Carter, Rust, Dumoulin, Ruhwedel

PK2: Blueger, McGinn, Pettersson, Friedman


PANTHERS UPDATE

-This is the second game of a back-to-back set for the Panthers. They were defeated by the New York Rangers 6-2 last night and lost forward Sam Bennett to injury in the course of the game. Bennett has already been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Pens.

-Injury Report-

-Sam Bennett (F): upper body, undisclosed.

-Sergei Bobrovsky (G): lower body, day-to-day

-Anthony Duclair (F): achilles, week-to-week.

-Patric Hornqvist (F): IR, upper body, week-to-week.

-Eric Staal (F): upper body, undisclosed.

DIMERS.COM ONES TO WATCH

For The Penguins: Sidney Crosby. Once again the honor goes to The Wizard of Croz. Sid's on a four-game point streak. He's scored six total points in that time period. Crosby had a three-point night against Ottawa alone and scored a crucial goal vs. New Jersey last game. The Penguins have a lot of structural problems right now that continue to rear their heads, but Sidney Crosby is still right as rain.


For The Panthers: Sam Reinhart. Reinhart just ended a seven-game point streak against New York where he accumulated 10 points altogether. He also had one of the two goals the Panthers scored against the Penguins in their meeting earlier this season.


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