What you will see on the ice tonight might resemble more of what you would see from a team in, oh … I don’t know, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA.
Anaheim Ducks (22-18-5, 49 pts.) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (21-20-4, 46 pts.)
An already injured lineup — Sergei Gonchar, Mike Zigomanis, Pascal Dupuis and Ruslan Fedotenko … all out — got worse this morning as Sidney Crosby, Max Talbot, Rob Scuderi and Kris Letang were announced to be out as well for tonight’s game against Anaheim. Bill Thomas and Janne Pesonen have been recalled from the Baby Pens to fill roster sport for the game (Penguins.com).
What looked like a good chance for the struggling Pens to get a positive home win now looks more like a chance for the struggling Ducks to do so. They have dropped three of their last four and currently sit in fifth in the Western Conference standings — just two points ahead of the last playoff team in the West.
The only thing going in the Penguins’ favor is that the Ducks are suffering from a few injuries as well. The Post-Gazette reports that Teemu Selanne (quadriceps), center Todd Marchant (finger) and defenseman Francois Beauchemin (knee) are all out for tonight’s game. And if last season has any relevance to this year, the Pens might play better because of the injuries.
What else can we do but hope.
No one can even project the lines. Here’s what Penguins.com has to say about what the lines might look like :
*With all the injuries and jumbled lines at
morning skate, this is anybody’s guess
The defensive pairings match up like this: Orpik-Whitney, Gill-Goligoski and Boucher-Eaton.
The Pens will need all three pairings to play at their best if they even hope to win tonight. They will also need a stellar performance in net from Marc-Andre Fleury.
A lot of hard work along with a lot of luck will provide a win. Doing advantages or predictions aren’t even necessary.
The Pens need to say their prayers. It’s Geno’s team tonight.
Chris | PPT