PENGUINS VS DUCKS
The Pittsburgh Penguins officially set their opening night roster, assigning Kasperi Kapanen to Kapal (Finland), placing Beau Bennett on Long Term Injured Reserve and recalling Zach Sill, Andrew Ebbett and Taylor Chorney from Wheeling.
The Penguins roster is officially at 23 players, though, it’s anticipated that Robert Bortuzzo will be placed on injured reserve. He is still a few weeks away from returning.
PLAYER NEWS: Evgeni Malkin (soft tissue/lower body) and Olli Maatta (shoulder) are ready to go tonight. Maatta coming off shoulder surgery, will be thrust right into a top-2 pairing role with Paul Martin. Malkin will play right wing on the second line….. For Anaheim, Cam Fower who is dealing with a leg injury, was a full participant in the Ducks morning skate and will play…..It will be a homecoming tonight for John Gibson who will get the start goal for Anaheim. Marc Andre Fleury goes for Pittsburgh.
PENGUINS HAVE TOUGH FIRST TEST DEFENSIVELY
All the talk is about Penguins having a group for the most part of defensemen that are suited to activate off the rush and be ideal fits in Mike Johnston’s system. Christian Ehrhoff and Kris Letang should each be in contention to put up 50+ points this season. The major question mark is how this team will be able to defend, especially against big strong teams that play heavy in the offensive zone and can exploit the Penguins with the cycle.
Anaheim poses a tough first test with a top line of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry with Dany Heatley on the left side but they add a new element this season with Ryan Kesler as the No. 2 center. When you’re talking about centers who play a 200 ft game, there’s not going to be a better combination in the league than Getzlaf/Kesler.
PENS GOING WITH FOUR FORWARDS ON TOP POWER PLAY UNIT
UNIT 1: Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist with Kris Letang quarter backing the top unit.
UNIT 2: Steve Downie, Brandon Sutter, Pascal Dupuis with Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff at the points
TONIGHT’S PENGUINS LINEUP
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist
Pascal Dupuis – Brandon Sutter – Evgeni Malkin
Nick Spaling – Marcel Goc – Blake Comeau
Steve Downie – Zach Sill – Craig Adams
Christian Ehrhoff – Kris Letang
Olli Maatta – Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi – Simon Despres
1. Marc Andre Fleury
2. Thomas Greiss
Scratches: Andrew Ebbett, Taylor Chorney, Robert Bortuzzo (injured)