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Ceci Scratched: Penguins Lines, Preview & How to Watch vs. Flyers

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Pittsburgh Penguins Lines Philadelphia Flyers

Well, that didn’t take long. It appears the Pittsburgh Penguins (0-1-0) coaches will make a change on the blue line. Kris Letang admitted what the power play must specifically do to get better and Teddy Blueger admitted the faceoff dot is hugely important when the Penguins face the Philadelphia Flyers (1-0-0) tonight at 7 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Center.

The Penguins lost the opener of the two-game set on Wednesday evening, 6-3. Philadelphia scored three unanswered goals in the third period and scored on two of three power-play chances.

New defenseman Mike Matheson did some good things but was negatively involved in the first three Philadelphia goals. Get the full Penguins Report Card here.

Head coach Mike Sullivan put the team’s support behind Matheson without absolving him from a rough game.

“Our coaching staff is committed to trying to help Mike through some of these processes,” Sullivan said Wednesday night. “This game is not an easy game. It’s not for the faint of heart. You’ve got to make sure you dust yourself off and get back in the fight.”

Goalies Tristan Jarry was hardly a culprit in the loss but wasn’t sharp, either. He stopped 19 of 25 shots. Sullivan didn’t flinch on his new starting goalie and will go back to Jarry Friday night.

Carter Hart will start for Philadelphia. Hart stopped 29 of 32 shots for the win on Wednesday.

Game Notes

The Penguins were otherwise crushed on the faceoff dot (42%). Mark Jankowski was 2 for 7, and Teddy Blueger was 2 for 5.

“(Faceoffs) are huge, especially in the offensive and defensive zones,” Blueger said in response to PHN’s question. “Possession; obviously, a lot of goals are scored that way. We didn’t do a good enough job on that in the last game.”

Sidney Crosby has played 71 games against the Philadelphia Flyers. He has 106 points, including his highlight pick and swat goal on Wednesday night.

Chad Ruhwedel skated with Mike Matheson during the morning skate. The Penguins had an unscheduled day off on Thursday.

Spot Analysis: Matheson isn’t ready for top-four minutes, and the coaches must be leery of placing Matheson with fellow newbie Cody Ceci. Ruhwedel is steady and reliable in short bursts, so this pair makes a good bit of sense in the short term.

The Penguins’ power was 1-for-3, but only because Crosby intercepted a Hart clearing attempt and poked it into the net. Otherwise, the Penguins’ power play was not impressive.

“I would say the entries and the movement around the zone (need to improve),” Kris Letang said. “There are new breakouts, new guys in different spots … the execution in the first game wasn’t good.”

Philadelphia defenseman Erik Gustafsson had a pair of first-period power-play assists.

Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

LWCRW
Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyEvan Rodrigues
Jason Zucker Jeff CarterKasperi Kapanen
Danton HeinenBrian BoyleDominik Simon
Zach Aston-ReeseTeddy BluegerBrock McGinn
LDRD
Brian DumoulinKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJohn Marino
Mike Matheson Chad Ruhwedel

Philadelphia Flyers Lines

LWCRW
Claude Giroux Sean CouturierJakub Voracek
Joel FarabeeKevin HayesTravis Konecny
James Van RiemsdykNolan PatrickNicolas Aube-Kubel
Oskar Lindblom Scott Laughton Wade Allison
LDRD
Ivan ProvorovJustin Braun
Travis SanheimPhilippe Myers
Shayne Gostisbehere Robert Hagg

Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Odds

Just in case you’d like to drop a few beans tonight, use our friends at MGM. They’re offering up to a $500 match. CLICK HERE to get the deal.

PHN is 1-0 this season after we recommended the OVER on Wednesday night. The Penguins betting odds over/under is 6.5 on Friday night. We like the UNDER. The Penguins will button-up tonight, and IF the Penguins insert Chad Ruhwedel, that will help. Jarry should be better, too.

The Penguins betting line puts them as a 1.5 goal underdog (-200). We like that bet but aren’t confident enough to fully recommend it.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Katz
Katz (@paul)
10 months ago

“We’ve got to play better ” We need to play more in their end” “we can’t give them that much space” “we need to help our D out more” blah Blah Blah. Pick your excuse after tonight’s loss. This is not criticism after just one game. This is after a sweep in the playoffs by the Islanders and an embarrassing First round exit to the lowest rated playoff team in NHL history. Difficult but decisive changes needed made after the Islanders sweep , certainly after last year too. Malkin needed gonzo perhaps others. So tinkering around the edges and trading… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Katz
JcNorthStar
JcNorthStar
10 months ago

Hey Dan the 3rd line you got McCann on left wing and center I am guessing that’s a typo I would assume that Jankowski is center and McCann LW. Wouldn’t imagine they would change that line since it was the best line last game.
Stick tap to you Dan thanks for all the great coverage!

HarkeyPuck
HarkeyPuck
10 months ago

The problem is, that they won’t trade the big 3 unless they want to go. Mario was a one team guy and will keep the stars as long as they want to stay. Not the best for business per se, but it is what it is. Wouldn’t trade the last 15 years for anything. I saw Mario and Jagr, then Rico Fata and Dick Tarnstrom, then Crosby and Malkin. It’ll be the new Generation X in a few years. Oh well.

Last edited 10 months ago by HarkeyPuck
Katz
Katz (@paul)
10 months ago
Reply to  HarkeyPuck

You nailed it

Hatrick Pornqvist
Hatrick Pornqvist
10 months ago

This team definitely has added a ton of speed and should be one of the fastest in the league but it will be all for nothing if they don’t use it properly. If they wanna be the 2016 team, which I think is a possibility, they need back pressure on the puck. The neutral zone was their entire game that year. Opponents were suffocated by their speed trying to get going through there and it was turnover after turnover that we created with our speed. Our defense shined when we back checked relentlessly, and it created a ton of offense… Read more »

Katz
Katz (@paul)
10 months ago

That ship has sailed. That’s the problem , Sullivan is living in 2016 with the song ‘Glory Days ‘ playing in this head. Everyone has become faster and bigger and more difficult to play against….. except Pittsburgh. The last two playoffs were not a fluke what you see is what you have. Sullivan has failed to change with the league catching up. That’s why Scotty Bowman was a great Coach but hated by his players he understood what it took to win and only saw players as talent /inventory w/o consideration to anything but his goal . You don’t do… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Katz

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