Game 8 Preview – Canucks at Penguins

caseygamedayreport

By: Casey Johnston (@CaseyR82)

Last Game for the Pens:  Thursday, a 4-1 win over the Flyers.  Both teams spent the first half of the game feeling each other out until Chris Kunitz opened up the scorning for the Penguins in the second period.  Chris Kunitz scored less than three minutes later to make it 2-0.  Wayne Simmonds scored with two seconds remaining in the period to bring the Flyers within one.  Philadelphia hung on as long as they could.  Sidney Crosby helped the Penguins draw away with his sixth of the year late in the third period.  Evgeni Malkin scored his third of the year on an empty net to make it 4-1.  Flyers goalie Steve Mason stopped 31 of 34 shots while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 of 25.

Last Game for the Canucks:  Thursday, a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres.  Chris Higgins, Brad Richardson, and  Ryan Stanton each scored for the Canucks.  Roberto Luongo stopped all 25 shots that came his way.

Last Time These Two Teams Met:  October 6, 2011.  The Penguins opened the 2011-12 season by beating the Canucks 4-3 in a shootout.  James Neal scored first while Matt Cooke added a power play and shorthanded goal.  Max Lapierre, Keith Ballard, and Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks.  Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 of 36 shots during play and both shootout attempts.

Story of the Game:  Thanks to the lockout, the Penguins are facing a Western Conference team for the first time in two years.  That’s so long ago that Cory Schneider was still playing a drama-free backup role behind Roberto Luongo.

The Penguins sit at the top of the Metropolitan Division and are in a three-way tie for the top team in the Eastern Conference.  Sidney Crosby is again the talk of the town as he has scored in all seven games while amassing 14 points.  Even Philadelphia Inquirer writer Sam Carchidi admitted following Thursday’s game that Sidney Crosby is the best player in the world.

Pens All-Time Record Against the Canucks:  59-35-11-1.

Canucks-Killer on the Pens: James Neal has three points in four games against the Canucks going back to his time in Dallas.

Penguins-Killer on the Canucks:  Daniel Sedin has three points in his last five games against the Penguins.

Probable Lines Tonight: (From Emptynetters)

Penguins

14 Chris Kunitz – 87 Sidney Crosby – 9 Pascal Dupuis

36 Jussi Jokinen – 71 Evgeni Malkin – 12 Chuck Kobasew

15 Tanner Glass – 16 Brandon Sutter – 23 Chris Conner

39 Harry Zolnierczyk – 46 Joe Vitale – 27 Craig Adams

44 Brooks Orpik – 7 Paul Martin

4 Rob Scuderi – 2 Matt Niskanen

3 Olli Maatta – 41 Robert Bortuzzo

29 Marc-Andre Fleury

Canucks

22 Daniel Sedin – 33 Henrik Sedin – 17 Ryan Kesler

20 Chris Higgins – 25 Mike Santorelli – 36 Jannik Hansen

7 David Booth – 45 Jordan Schroeder – 9 Zack Kassian

29 Tom Sestito – 15 Brad Richardson – 32 Dale Weise

23 Alexander Edler – 5 Jason Garrison

18 Ryan Stanton – 3 Kevin Bieksa

2 Dan Hamhuis – 8 Christopher Tanev

1 Roberto Luongo