Pittsburgh Penguins (13-6-0) at Florida Panthers (5-9-4)
Tonight in Florida, the Panthers have the opportunity to avenge Friday’s 3-1 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In order to do this, the Panthers will have to beat a strong Penguins team that has won five of their last six. The Panthers will be facing a familiar foe as Penguins backup goaltender Tomas Vokoun will get the start tonight. Vokoun played four years with the Panthers before spending last season with the Washington Capitals. In his first year for the Penguins, Vokoun has played in seven games accumulating three wins and a S% of .899.
The Penguins will be without Evgani Malkin after he was diagnosed with a concussion following a hit he took from Panther Erik Gudbranson in Friday’s game. In that game, the Panthers were thoroughly dominated getting outshot 40-23. The strong play of Jacob Markstrom kept the game close but Markstrom has since been returned to the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL. Jose Theodore is expected to make the start tonight for the Panthers, his first start since a 3-0 loss to the Maple Leafs Feb. 18th.
Florida would love to get a win tonight in front of their home fans. The Panthers are in the midst of a five game losing streak in which they have gone 0-2-3. Florida’s last home win came Jan. 31, 6-3 over the Jets. If the Panthers are going to get a win tonight whey will have to do so with an injury shortened lineup. Stephen Weiss will be out of the lineup as he flew to Toronto for his grandmother’s funeral. Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall and Sean Bergenheim all remain out with injuries. Also, Alex Kovalev is not expected to play tonight. On the defensive end, Filip Kuba and Ed Jovanovski will both be out. Colby Robak will get another game, filling in for Filip Kuba, meanwhile Scott Timmins was called up to fill the roster spot vacated by Stephen Weiss. The 23 year old Timmins has 9 goals and 7 assists in his 47 games played for the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL.
Here is the Panthers projected lineup as per NHL.com