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A look ahead at the games this week

10/20/08 @Boston Bruins (2-1-1)
The Bruins have the started the season with four straight road games and host the Penguins on Monday for their home opener. Boston is coming off a 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators. Marc Savard is off to a solid start and leads the Bruins with 9 points in four games. RW Phil Kessel who has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the summer is second on the team with four goals. Kessel scored two goals in the Bruins win Saturday night. The Bruins struggled to score goals last season but they are a much better offensive team this season with a healthy Patrice Bergeron. Forward Chuck Kobasew (22 goals last season) is currently on the shelf with a fractured right ankle.
Player to Watch
RW Michael Ryder (1goal – 4 assists – 5 points) With Kobasew out of the lineup the pressure is on Ryder who received a 3 year – $12 million contract

10/23/08 Carolina Hurricanes (2-1-1)
The Canes have always been a tough out for the Penguins. Carolina has been hit hard with injuries upfront and are currently 0-1 on a 6 game road trip. The Canes face the Anaheim Ducks Sunday night before playing the Penguins Thursday night.
Player to Watch
D Joni Pitkanen (1goal – 3 assists – 4pts) Pitkanen has been the Hurricanes workhorse on the blue line averaging almost 25 minutes per game. Pitkanen will be matched up against Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin
10/25/08 @New York Rangers (6-1-1)
The New York Rangers sit atop the Atlantic Division and are off to a 6-1-1 start. The Rangers have shown great team speed and are an improved team from last season. Defensively the Rangers are only surrendering 2 goals per game but they have only scored 22 goals in 8 games. The Rangers broke out Saturday night scoring 4 goals in a overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Despite minimal production from Chris Drury (1Point), the Rangers have received production from Aaron Vorors (5 goals) and Brandon Dubinsky who lead the Rangers with 9 PTS. The Rangers penalty kill (90.9%) is fourth in the league but their power play (12. 8%) has failed to get on track.
Player to Watch
MarKus Naslund (1goal – 3 assists – 4 points) Naslund who was heavily pursued by the Penguins this past summer turned down a 2yr – $7.5 million offer from the Penguins and according to Insiders never had strong intentions to return to Pittsburgh.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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