Talk about big games, Pens vs. Panthers

This is the biggest game of the season so far.  There’s no doubt.

fla21pit17

With a Montreal loss to Edmonton, the winner of this game moves up into 5th place in the Eastern Conference Standings.  That’s huge.

Now the standings don’t really mean much now, but it just shows how close this race really is.  The Penguins and Panthers are tied with 76 points.

This is the third meeting of the year between the two and earning two points will go far in determining tiebreakers.

People … huge.

The New York Rangers were shutout 3-0 by the Carolina Hurricanes last night, bumping the blue shirts out of the playoff picture and the Canes into 6th place.

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Penguins fans haven’t been worrying too much about the Atlantic Division standings, but a win tonight could bump the Penguins out of fourth place for the first time in ages.  And, with a Flyers loss at home against Buffalo tonight, the Penguins would be just two points out of second place in the Atlantic.

The last time Pittsburgh and Florida played, it was a span of about 25 seconds that determined the game.  After Radek Dvorak scored to put the Panthers up 1-0, Sidney Crosby came right down the ice and scored a goal of his own.

It showed the Panthers that they were not beating the Pens.  They knew it, the Pens knew it and we as Penguins fans knew it.

It’s going to take another statement like that tonight for a win.  The Pens need that statement being that the game is on home ice.

Pittsburgh hasn’t played at the Mellon Arena in five games and now has a span of nine of 10 games being at home.  Getting off to a good start is of the utmost importance.

Beating Florida would also help the Penguins because of the fact that nearly every team the Pens have been battling for the final playoff spot is playing well as well.  Florida is 6-4-0 in its last 10 games and Carolina is 8-2-0.  Buffalo has been playing good as well, but recently has fallen off a bit with a loss to Ottawa.

But let’s keep ourselves prepared.  As much as a win would help, a loss would hurt.  If both Montreal wins and the Penguins lose to Florida, the Pens will still reside in 8th place and have the Rangers breathing down their necks.

Let’s all cross our fingers, do a little scoreboard watching and enjoy what should be an outstanding game.

Got a prediction?  Don’t think this game is a big deal?  BE HEARD…

Chris | PPT

“Avenge 6-4-08”

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