Game 49 Preview: Panthers Vs. Penguins
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to add to their franchise record winning streak on home ice tonight when they host the Florida Panthers.
Pittsburgh established a new franchise record on Wednesday with their 13th consecutive victory at Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins trailed on three separate occasions against the Capitals before Olli Maatta broke a 3-3 tie with 1:54 left in the third period.
Kris Letang, Taylor Pyatt and Jussi Jokinen also scored for the Penguins in the contest, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves.
As for the Panthers, they enter tonight’s game having lost two in a row and three of their last four. As a result, they are currently seventh in the Atlantic Division and need to go on a run to get back into the playoff hunt.
Aleksander Barkov leads the team with 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 48 games. Brad Boyes is only one point behind Barkov, but leads the team with 12 goals.
In goal, Tim Thomas is far from the form that won him a Vezina Trophy with the Boston Bruins during the 2010-11 season, but he’s not getting much goal support.
As a team, the Panthers have scored 111 goals this season. Only the Buffalo Sabres (86) have scored fewer in the league.
So far this season, Thomas is 12-13-3 with a 2.58 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Against the Penguins, Thomas is 8-7-4 with a 2.85 GAA and a .906 save percentage.
As for the Penguins, Sidney Crosby will serve as the captain for Team Canada in the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia. That decision is certainly deserved given his dominance through the first half of the season.
Entering tonight’s game, Crosby (25 goals, 43 assists) holds a 10-point lead over Ryan Getzlaf and John Tavares in the NHL scoring race.
Against the Panthers, Crosby has 13 goals and 16 assists in 25 career games.
In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury leads the league with 27 wins and has been lights out at home (17-2-0, 1.96 GAA, .933 save percentage) this season.
Against the Panthers, Fleury is 11-7 with a 2.48 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
Season Series (Home Team In Bold)
Oct. 11, 2013 – Penguins 3, Panthers 6
Nov. 10, 2013 – Penguins 5, Panthers 1
The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and you can watch the game on Root Sports.
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