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Winding Road; Penguins Game 26 vs. Panthers: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers

The Pittsburgh Penguins (11-11-3) finish a three-game road trip Friday with a game against the Florida Panthers.

The Penguins are coming off a 3-1 loss Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lighning.

The Panthers (15-8-2) are coming off a 5-4 win Wednesday against the Dallas Stars.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 7 p.m.

Penguins Preview

The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost three straight (0-1-20) and eight of 11 (3-5-3) following a five-game winning streak. They have scored one goal in each of their past two games, 16 goals over their past eight games.

The offense has been hindered by a confoundingly unproductive power play. The Penguins have gone 12 straight games without a power-play goal, an 0 for 33 drought, and have just one power-play goal in their past 15 games.

Top-line right winger Bryan Rust has been ruled out of Friday’s game. He is being evaluated for an upper-body injury.

Read more:

Kingerski: Rust Injured; New Lines & Power Play (Again)

Kingerski: Crosby, Malkin Answer for Loss; ‘Nervous’ on Power Play

Florida has looked a little more human lately, going 3-3-1 in its past seven games.

The Panthers’ power play hasn’t been as bad as the Penguins’, but they are 6 for 34 over their past 10 games.

Former Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues, playing on the top line, ranks fourth in Panthers scoring with 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) and had four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in the win over Dallas.

Sam Reinhart added a goal and two assists in that game and leads the Panthers with 17 goals.

Expected Penguins Lines

Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Drew O’Connor

Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Alex Nylander

Vinnie Hinostroza-Lars Eller-Jeff Carter

Radim Zohorna-Joonas Koppanen-Jansen Harkins


Ryan Graves-Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlsson

Ryan Shea-John Ludvig


Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedeljkovic

Expected Panthers Lines

Evan Rodrigues-Aleksander Barkov-Sam Reinhart

Carter Verhaege-Sam Bennett-Matthew Tkachuk

Eetu Luostarinen-Anton Lundell-Nick Cousins

Jonah Gadjovich-Kevin Stenlund-Ryan Lomberg


Gustav Forsling-Aaron Ekblad

Niko Mikkola-Brandon Montour

Oliver Ekman-Larsson/Dimtry Kulikov


Sergei Bobrovsky

Anthony Stolarz

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 9.9%, 30th

Penguins penalty kill: 83.1%, 10th

Panthers power play: 18.5%, 21st

Panthers penalty kill: 80.2%, 14th

Penguins Game Notes

The Penguins are 15-5-4 in their past 24 games against Florida, 6-3-4 in their past 13 games at Amerant Bank Arena.

Jake Guentzel has 23 points (9 goals, 14 assists) in the past 20 games. He has 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) in 14 career games against Florida.

Kris Letang last season had seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in three games against the Panthers.

Sidney Crosby has at least one point in 20 of the Penguins’ 25 games, leads the team with 15 goals and ranks second with 27 points.

Crosby, with 1,529 points, is two shy of tying Paul Coffey for 14th all-time in NHL history.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X

Also read sister site Florida Hockey Now