Pittsburgh Penguins Gameday 68: Dallas Stars

Pittsburgh Penguins (44-19-4) @ Dallas Stars (32-24-11)
ROOT, TXA 21 – 7:00 pm/et
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA



The Penguins try to rebound from a bad weekend with a game against the Dallas Stars. James Neal and Chris Kunitz could return to the line-up today. Jeff Zatkoff will be in net.


Leading Scorers:
Penguins: Sidney Crosby (31G, 57A: 88P)
Stars: Tyler Seguin (30G, 39A: 69P)

Probable Starting Goaltenders:
Penguins: Jeff Zatkoff (10-4-1, 2.63 GAA, .914 Sv% )
Stars: Kari Lehtonen (25-16-10, 2.47 GAA, .917 Sv%)

Official Previews from Team Websites: [Penguins] [Stars]

Last Games:
Penguins: Lost to Philadelphia Flyers 4-3.
Stars: Lost to Winnipeg Jets 7-2.

Opposition Blog: [Defending Big D]

What They’re Saying:Penguins Could Get James Neal and Chris Kunitz Back Against Dallas Tonight

The Phoenix Coyotes have 77 points. The Dallas Stars have 75.

What a difference a week makes as Phoenix now, somehow, sits in the drivers’ seat, and it is the Stars that must chase under enormous pressure and a really road-heavy schedule.

And chase against the best the East has to offer, by the way, in the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight, and then in Philadelphia against a Flyers team that is 7-2-1 in their last ten games.

It’s a tall order for a team that has struggled in every March of the last four seasons. Sunday night’s 7-2 public flogging in Winnipeg the other night does not instill confidence in the wake of Phoenix’s resurgence.

What Happened Last Time: January 25, 2014 – Pens lost 3-0 [Our Recap]

This was the most sound defeat the Pens have suffered all season. We remember the drubbings in MSG and Ottawa, but at least the Pens were thwarted by stellar goaltending in those games. In this one, the Stars played like a desperate hockey team, and the Pens had no answer. The Pens actually looked shell-shocked for most of the game.

Monday’s loss against the Panthers wasn’t a big deal. This game? Not a giant issue, but more of a concern that will be a reference point. The loss of Dupuis may have finally kicked in. Crosby and Kunitz were playing with Tanner Glass by the end of this game, and that is just insulting to everyone involved.

Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Jeff Zatkoff. The Penguins should probably give Fleury some rest going into the playoffs, so he’ll need to hold the fort in the meantime.

Stars Player(s) to Watch: Sergei Gonchar. He’ll likely only play another game or two in Pittsburgh.

Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today’s Game: 

[Via Dallas Morning News]

Possible Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Empty Netters:

Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Lee Stempniak
Jussi Jokinen – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Tanner Glass – Marcel Goc – Brian Gibbons
Craig Adams – Brandon Sutter – Taylor PyattBrooks Orpik – Matt Niskanen
Olli Maatta – Robert Bortuzzo
Rob Scuderi – Deryk Engelland

Jeff Zatkoff

Dallas Stars lines from Empty Netters:

Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Erik Cole – Cody Eakin – Colton Sceviour
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt
Ray Whitney – Chris Mueller – Alex ChiassonAlex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Brenden Dillon
Kevin Connauton – Sergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen