For tonight’s matchup, the table has been set. The Pittsburgh Penguins welcome rival Chicago Blackhawks, and this my friend, is always a matchup for the books!
On March 1st the Pens on the road, visited the Hawks’ United Center. Chicago’s Patrick Kane first to be on the board would be the game changer that night. Netting 3 goals for the hat trick against Marc-Andre Fleury would lift them to a 4-1 win over Pittsburgh.
Tonight, with injuries ringing the Penguins dry, there are tons of holes in the lineup on offense and defense. It’s almost as if the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins have moved to the NHL. Also, with Matt Murray seeming to struggle some lately were more than likely going to see an appearance from Marc-Andre, who has been playing with confidence.
A few things for the Penguins to keep their eyes on:
-Kane staring Panarin down rushing the net. He may look like he is going to pass, but he will shoot.
-Keep Duncan Kieth away from the front of the net.
-Most importantly. CONTROL THE PUCK. Fancy passes don’t work too well against such a skilled team. Just protect and shoot on sight!
There’s a lot of talk that these teams will be the Stanley Cup contenders. Though, the Pens falling the past 3 games you’re probably thinking we wont pull it off. Wrong. This team’s resilient. Losing 3 in a row they want a win to knock off the losing smell.
Lastly, Chad Ruhwedel and Conor Sheary will be game time decisions. Ron Hainsey and Jake Guentzel are practicing, but not receiving any contact. Matt Cullen also made it to practice today. No word on Evgeni Malkin, or Kris Letang other than they are making progress.
Something to understand is with the target on the Pens’ backs it’s safe to say we may not see some of these guys until the end of the season. Rest them, get healthy, come back and smash the playoffs is all we can hope for.
Chicago Blackhawks- 48-21-7 (103 points)
Pittsburgh Penguins- 46-18-11 (103 points)