Pittsburgh Penguins
Series – 3 GP
W L OTL Pts.
1 2 0 2
 
Toronto Maple Leafs
Series – 3 GP
Pts. W L OTL
4 2 1 0

7:00 (EST) at Air Canada Centre
TV: FSN Pittsburgh, CBC
Radio: WXDX-FM (105.9)
Probable Goalies: Fleury (Pit), Toskala (Tor)


 
Inside The Game

Coming off of an improbable victory over arguably the league’s best team Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins will look to break their losing streak against one of the league’s worst teams tonight.

The previous two meetings between the Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs weren’t pretty, as the Penguins looked sloppy and got embarrassed.

But the Penguins of February 14 are not the same as the Penguins of December 20 (when they lost 7-3 to the Leafs) or even of January 31 (when they lost 5-4 to the Leafs).

This no longer is a struggling Penguins team, but instead a (hopefully) peaking team in the midst of a stretch that has seen them win four of their last five games.

"It feels like things are finally starting to go our way, which would be a nice change," forward Max Talbot said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

For a week and a half, the Penguins have looked like a team determined to make the playoffs, but all of their recent victories could become less meaningful if they can’t cash in on an opportunity against a (significantly) inferior opponent with Canada’s spotlight on them.

"The big thing for everybody in this room is to realize that we need to be a desperate hockey team from the first drop of the puck – not just against Toronto, but for the rest of this season, at least if we want to get into the playoffs," said defenseman Mark Eaton.

Quite simply, the Penguins need two points, as the playoffs slipped to five points out of reach last night when both Florida and Buffalo (the seventh and eighth seeds in the Eastern Conference respectively) secured victories.

To help the cause, defenseman Sergei Gonchar, out since the preseason after undergoing shoulder surgery, and forward Ruslan Fedotenko, out since January with a broken hand, are possibilities for tonight’s game.

Update at 12:31: The Penguins have confirmed Gonchar and Fedotenko will dress tonight.  The lines are as follows:

Kennedy – Crosby – Dupuis
Cooke – Malkin – Sykora
Thomas – Staal – Satan
Fedotenko – Talbot – Godard

Orpik – Whitney
Letang – Eaton
Scuderi – Gonchar

Fleury
Garon

 
Standings
  GP W L OTL Pts Division Conference League
Penguins 56 27 24 5 59 4, Atlantic 10, Eastern 19, NHL
Maple Leafs 55 20 25 10 50 4, Northeast 11, Eastern 26, NHL
                 
Team Statistics
  GF GA PP% PK% Home Away L 10 Streak
Penguins 169 169 16.3 80.2 15-12-2 12-12-3 5-4-1 1 win
Maple Leafs 165 204 20.0 73.5 9-10-6 11-15-4 3-4-3 2 losses
                 
Team Leaders
  Stat Penguins   Stat Maple Leafs
Goals 24 Malkin Goals 19 Blake
Assists 56 Malkin Assists 26 Kaberle
Points 80 Malkin Points 42 Blake
+/- +17 Malkin +/- +6 Blake
PIMs 33 Godard PIMs 75 Deveaux
Wins 19 Fleury Wins 18 Toskala
GAA 2.75 Fleury GAA 3.41 Toskala
Sv% .913 Fleury Sv% .882 Toskala
 
Injuries/Suspensions
Penguins Injury Status
Fedotenko, DTD
Gonchar, DTD
Boucher, IR
Zigomanis, IR
Hand
Shoulder
Foot
Shoulder
Probable
Probable
Out indefinitely
Out for the season
Maple Leafs Injury Status
Kaberle, IR
Van Ryn, IR
Hand
Lower body
Out until early March
Out indefinitely
 
Note: Info up-to-date as of 12:31 pm, Saturday, February 14, 2008.