Category: Game Preview
UPDATE: With video.
He’s in the zone. He’s en fuego. He’s on a roll.
Whatever the superlative cliche’ you wanna throw out there, it certainly applies to Sidney Crosby right now.
Crosby scored his second consecutive home hat trick, the third goal coming as a result of an absolutely sick backhanded deflection, as the Penguins won their eighth straight game and have now earned points in eleven straight as they’ve now vaulted to the top of the Atlantic Division.
New Penguin Mike Comrie, who has been teamed up with Evgeni Malkin on the Penguins’ 2nd line since his arrival, looks to be bumped to the fourth line for tonight’s matchup against the rival Philadelphia Flyers.
Comrie hasn’t scored in his nine games on the ice with the Penguins, but does have four assists. He was a healthy scratch in one game as well.
The Penguins will play it safe in this afternoon’s preseason finale at Detroit, with Sidney Crosby (hip flexor), Arron Asham (upper-body) and Brooks Orpik (groin) all out of the lineup. After today’s game, the Penguins will have three days of practice before Thursday’s much anticipated home opener vs. Philadelphia in the first regular season game at the Consol Energy Center.
Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby will not play tonight in Chicago vs. the Blackhawks for precautionary reasons due to a hip flexor. Dustin Jeffrey will take his place.
It’s unknown at this time whether Crosby will play in the preseason finale Sunday at Detroit.
From the Detroit Free Press:
That was nearly eight months ago, and whatever happens today at Mellon Arena on national television, it won’t change who owns the Cup. For the Wings, however, it is a significant game because they need points, and getting a pair from the defending champions would be a confidence booster.
“I think it’s up to us to show something, especially the way things have gone lately with us not having played up to our potential,” veteran forward Kirk Maltby said. “Any time we’ve won a championship, it’s always been that you measure yourself against the team that won the Cup last year.”
The Wings won the Cup in 2008 when they beat Pittsburgh in six games. A year later, they came so close, leading 2-0 and 3-2 in the series, only to lose Game 7 at home. “I felt it pretty hard right away,” Cleary said, “and still do. When I’m just sitting alone thinking, I think about it a lot and I keep telling myself to try to get it out of my mind. But it’s something I’ll never forget.”
You’re gonna be out of luck if you were looking forward to watching the Stanley Cup Finals rematch between the Penguins and Red Wings and unlucky enough to live in one of several local television markets. NBC will be pre-empting programming on Sunday afternoon in the following markets in order to broadcast Pat Robertson’s “700 Club Telethon”. The markets are:
WAVY 10 Norfolk (yup, that’s mine)
WBRE 28 Scranton
WDTN 2 Dayton
WVVA 6 Beckley-Bluefield
WSMV 4 Nashville
WVTM 13 Birmingham
KKCO 11 Grand Junction
According to Chris Botta’s Twitter, both defenseman Alex Goligoski and forward Bill Guerin are out for tonight’s game in New York. Also, from the Penguins:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forward Chris Conner from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Conner, 26, previously spent six games with the Penguins from Oct. 30 – Nov. 12. He recorded one assist and had seven shots on goal while averaging 9:06 minutes of ice time.
Conner (5-foot-8, 180 pounds) appeared in 24 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season and ranks fifth on the club with 22 points (7G-15A). He tied a WBS franchise record with five points (2G-3A) in Saturday’s 6-3 victory over the Syracuse Crunch.
Conner spent three-plus seasons with the Dallas Stars organization prior to signing with Pittsburgh over the summer. In 71 games with the Stars he recorded 21 points (7G-14A).
From the Washington Post’s Tarik El-Bashir:
Tom Poti thought he had finally pushed the painful memory of the Washington Capitals’ Game 7 collapse against the Pittsburgh Penguins into the deep recesses of his mind. But about three weeks later, the veteran defenseman discovered he had not buried it deep enough.
“Just when you’re starting to get over it, you see them hoisting the Cup, and it kind of started all over again,” Poti said Monday, nearly eight months after Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and his teammates beat the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals. “You start thinking, ‘What if we beat them? Could that have been us?’”
For Poti and many of his teammates, the only thing more excruciating than the what-ifs that consumed them during the quiet moments in the offseason has been the 253 days NHL schedule-makers forced them to wait before facing their arch rival again.
About The Confluence
Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.
If you’d like to follow me on Twitter-