Game Day Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Florida Panthers
Florida: 29-37-12 (70PTS)
Pittsburgh: 45-25-8 (98PTS)
Season Series: 0-2-1
Race to the Bottom: 30 EDM (57), 29 COL (66), 28 FLA (70), 27 OTT (70), 26 NYI (72)
Record before and after the trade deadline: 26-29-7 (59PTS) .476 / 3-8-5 (11PTS) .344
Today, the Pittsburgh Penguins visit South Florida in one of quite a few playoff seeding matches. The Pens will attempt to sweep the season series while the Panthers will try not too be too embarrassed. Sidney Crosby is skating with the team and is on the road trip, but will probably not play until the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Panthers are trying to remember what playoffs are. This, the next to last home game of the season, will be packed with Penguins fans looking to see the Penguins close in on their Eastern Conference leading division rival Philadelphia Flyers. The Panthers, in an attempt to get season ticket holders to actually turn up to the game, have advertised that they will be showing the Final Four on televisions throughout the arena.
Last meeting: Last Sunday, starting goaltender Tomas Vokoun was injured late in the third period in Pittsburgh. He pulled himself at the end of the third and Scott Clemmensen went in to finish the game. He let in two goals as the Pens won their record fourth straight shootout. Vokoun has not played since.
Last game: The Panthers lost another lackluster game to the Senators, going down 4-1 and dropping to 28th place and last in the Eastern Conference.
Notes: Stephen Weiss is out again with a tweaked groin, but Jack Skille will make his return today. Tim Kennedy has been recalled from Rochester in place of Patrick Rissmiller, who was returned to the Amerks.
Injuries: Stephen Weiss, groin, day to day (4/2/2011). Tomas Vokoun, back, day to day (3/27/2011). Alexander Sulzer, groin, day to day (3/29/2011). Shawn Matthias, ankle, day to day (3/25/2011). Scott Timmins, concussion, unknown (3/10/2011). Rostislav Olesz, knee, out for the season (2/25/2011). Byron Bitz (IR), sports hernia, out for the season.
Starting goaltenders: Scott Clemmensen will start again today. He has a 1.14 GAA, 23 saves and a .957 save percentage in 52 minutes in two relief appearances against the Penguins this season. Brent Johnson (1.50 GAA .952 SV% in 40 minutes in relief against the Cats) will start for the Penguins.
Bergfors - Reasoner - Samsonov
Booth - Santorelli - Dadonov
Skille - Kennedy - Repik
Hordichuk - Carter - Bernier
The Panthers faithful count down one more game to the end of another disappointing season today. The Cats go on their last road trip of the season this week, with games in Washington and Tampa before facing the Capitals at home next Saturday. Most of the fans lost interest or started looking ahead to the draft after the trade deadline. Last night's win by the Avalanche put them 4 points behind the Cats, with a game in hand. A loss today would keep keep alive the possibility of the Cats ending up in 29th place, while a win could put them as high as 13th in the Conference and 26th in the league, depending on the results of today's Carolina-NY Islanders and Toronto-Ottawa games.
More from our Pittsburgh cohorts at PensBurgh
Penguins vs Panthers coverage at SBNation.com