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Desperate Times, Penguins Game 50 vs. Panthers: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins game vs. Florida Panthers

The Pittsburgh Penguins, desperate for points, take on one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday when the Florida Panthers visit.

The Penguins (23-19-7) are back home after falling in both games of a weekend road trip and sit seven points (and four teams) out of the second wildcard spot in the East.

The Panthers (33-15-4) are coming off a 4-0 win Saturday over Colorado, one of the top teams in the West.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 7:30 p.m.

Penguins preview

It could be quite a boost for the Penguins to knock off Florida.

The Penguins are 3-4-3 in their past 10 games and have missed several chances to make headway in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference wildcard race.

For a team whose strength was supposed to be offense, the Penguins have struggled to score. They have scored as many as three goals twice in the past seven games.

One of the ongoing culprits is the power play, which was 1 for 9 combined in the weekend losses at Minnesota and Winnipeg.

Because of injuries, the Penguins will need to recall a forward or dress seven defensemen.

Read more:

Anderson: Penguins’ Malkin Get Honest: I Know I’m Not Flying Like Before

Kingerski: Penguins Pushing Erik Karlsson, Time for ‘Difference-Maker’ to Let Loose

Florida has won two in a row, six of its past seven, and is 15-3-2 in its past 20 as it surges to perhaps challenge Boston for the Eastern Conference title.

A year ago, the Panthers were roughly where the Penguins are now – clawing to get into the playoffs. They barely beat out the Penguins for a postseason spot and ended up getting to the Stanley Cup final.

They have springboarded off that this season.

Just in time for the Penguins, Florida captain Aleksander Barkov broke out of a goal slump against the Avalanche with his first goal Dec. 16, along with two assists.

Sam Reinhart is in full bloom, leading the Panthers and sitting among the league leaders with 64 points.

The Penguins will go with seven defensemen and 11 forwards.

Penguins Expected Lines

Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust

Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Jesse Puljujarvi

Drew O’Connor-Lars Eller-Rickard Rakell

Colin White-Jeff Carter


Marcus Pettersson-Kris Letang

Ryan Graves-Erik Karlsson

John Ludvig-Chad Ruhwedel

P.O Joseph


Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedelkjkovic

Expected Panthers Lines

Evan Rodrigues-Aleksander Barkov-Sam Reinhart

Carter Verhaeghe-Sam Bennett-Matthew Tkachak

Eetu Luostarinen-Anton Lundell-Nick Cousins

Jonah Gadjovich-Kevin Stenlund-Ryan Lomberg


Gustav Forsling-Aaron Ekblad

Niko Mikkola-Brandon Montour

Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Dmitry Kulikov


Sergei Bobrovsky

Anthony Stolarz

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 13.9%, 30th

Penguins penalty killing: 81.6%, 6th

Panthers power play: 24.9%, 6th

Panthers penalty killing: 82.7%, 10th

Penguins Game Notes

The Penguins lost 3-1 at Florida Dec. 8 and fell at home against the Panthers 3-2 in overtime Jan. 26.

The Penguins are 13-8-3 at home.

Jake Guentzel has 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in 16 career games against Florida.

Guentzel has points in 19 of 24 home games and leads the Penguins with 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) at PPG Paints Arena.

Marcus Pettersson has 11 blocked shots over the past three games.

Erik Karlsson is two points shy of 800 for his career.

Sidney Crosby, with 405 even-strength goals, is tied with Mario Lemieux for 16th-most in league history.

How to Watch


Radio: 105.9 FM The X

Also visit sister site Florida Hockey Now