Key Observations heading Into game 54 between the Penguins and Red Wings

The-Pens-Nation-Gameday-Report1
By: Annie Shean (JustPuckIt)

The Penguins closed their road trip through Canada with a dismal 5-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. After a short breather and a night bowling for charity, the team is facing the Red Wings on Rivalry Night. The Redwings have been on fire with a record of 9-1-0 in their last ten games, while the Penguins have struggled at 4-4-2. Will the Redwings close out their road trip with a win, or will the Penguins be able to tilt the ice in their favor at home?

The Lineup

Blake Comeau took his spot on the second line with Malkin and Hornqvist — while he is expected to return to the lineup tonight, HCMJ called him a game-time decision. The roster moves made by the Pens however to free up cap space says otherwise. Matt Arcobello was placed on waivers and claimed by Arizona, and Scott Harrington was sent down to WBS. Based off reports during practice it also appears that forward Beau Bennett will be a healthy scratch again since he did not participate in line rushes. On the injury front Christian Ehrhoff skated before practice with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar, so at least for tonight’s game he will continue to stay out of the lineup (concussion symptoms). Marc-Andre Fleury is the starting goaltender, the expected lines for the game are as follows:

Kunitz-Crosby-Perron
Comeau-Malkin-Hornqvist
Spaling-Sutter-Downie
Sill-Lapierre-Adams

Martin-Letang
Scuderi-Despres
Pouliot-Bortuzzo

It was announced Monday that Petr Mrazek will be in net, and Jimmy Howard will be the backup. Howard has been injured since a game against the Washington Capitals in January, and he is expected to make his first start this Saturday. Since the team has been successful, there will be no roster changes for the team, the combinations are:

Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader
Tatar-Datsyuk-Helm
Weiss-Sheahan-Glendening
Miller-Andersson-Jurco

Ericsson-Kronwall
Quincey-DeKeyser
Smith-Marchenko

OH THE FEELS

I know I should focus on now, but why not remember the past? Every time we face the Detroit Redwings on a rivalry night I play the video above in my head. I have such a vivid memory of sitting on the edge of my couch in Southside, unable to blink in the last 45 seconds of the game. I remember the gasp when Fleury dove for the puck, the jerseys scattered about the ice, and then the wild celebration after the clock ticked down to zero. Ahhhh, such good memories that bring a smile to your face.

Final Thoughts

Oh Captain, My Captain: Sidney Crosby will be playing his 600th career game tonight. In the last few games he’s started to look like our good old Sid again, so let’s hope this continues.

Stay out of the Box:  The Penguins need to avoid taking bad penalties, or else they will face the number one ranked powerplay unit in the NHL. They have been successful, especially in the dirty areas of the crease.

D#: Defense, Defense, Defense. The Penguins need to have a solid defensive performance again the Redwings, especially with guys like Nyquist, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg out there. Every player out there should be shadowing their opponent, man on man in order to ice this hot team.