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Penguins vs. Panthers Scouting Report

Monday, 10.10.2011 / 9:00 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Penguins vs. Panthers Scouting Report
Pittsburgh Penguins
Home: 0-0-0-0
Road: 2-0-1-5

WHEN: Oct. 11, 2011 - 7:30 pm   |   WHERE: CONSOL Energy Center
ROOT SPORTS  |  LISTEN: Penguins 24/7 Radio, 105.9 FM
Florida Panthers
Home: 0-0-0-0

  Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Florida Panthers 






Tomas Fleischmann
LW  -  #14
  0 Goals
  1 Assist
  1 Point
• Embarked on an offensive tear after being traded to Colorado from Washington last season (21 points in 22 games) before suffering a serious health scare that sidelined him for the rest of the year.

• Czech winger has fully recovered from his pulmonary emboli (blood clots in lungs) and was rewarded with a four-year, $18 million contract with the Panthers on the first day of free agency.

• Will be depended on to help revitalize Florida’s offense, playing left wing on the Panthers’ top line with center Stephen Weiss and right wing Kris Versteeg.
Scottie Upshall
LW -  #19
  0 Goals
  0 Assists
  0 Points
• Inked a four-year deal with the Panthers on July 1 after posting a career-high 22 goals last season, split between Phoenix and Columbus.

• Drafted by Nashville in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft when Penguins GM Ray Shero was assistant GM of the Predators.

• Is projected to play right wing on the second line with left wing David Booth and center Tomas Kopecky.
Brian Campbell
D  -  #51
  0 goals
2 assists
2 points
• Offensively gifted blueliner nicknamed “Soupy” consistently produces points, scoring 43-plus points in four of his last seven seasons.

• Will be counted on to quarterback Florida’s power play, which finished 30th in the league last season with a 13.1-percent success rate.

Played a big role in Chicago’s 2010 Stanley Cup championship, recording the lone assist on Patrick Kane’s overtime series-clinching goal in Game 6 of the Final while finishing a team-leading plus-11.
The Panthers haven’t made the playoffs since 2000 – the longest drought in league history – and have advanced to the postseason just three times in their 17-year history. To remedy that, general manager Dale Tallon completely overhauled his roster this summer – meaning the Penguins will be facing a completely different club on Tuesday than the one they swept in their 2010-11 season series.

The Panthers still have their top-three scorers from 2010-11 in Stephen Weiss, David Booth and Mike Santorelli, but now Tallon has added some dynamic offensive talents to complement that core, starting with Tomas Fleischmann. The Czech winger, who scored 21 points in his last 22 games last season before missing the remainder of the season with blood clots in his lungs, is back to full health and is projected to start on the Panthers’ top line.

Also in the fold is a face that may still haunt the dreams of Penguins fans everywhere in Sean Bergenheim. Bergenheim, who signed a four-year deal with Florida this summer, was Tampa Bay’s playoff hero last season, scoring three goals in the Lightning’s first-round series with the Penguins – including the series-clinching goal in Game 7.

Tallon spent four years as GM of the Blackhawks from 2005-09, and during the offseason he brought in a bunch of familiar faces from his days in Chicago. The Panthers acquired forwards Kris Versteeg and Tomas Kopecky along with defenseman Brian Campbell – who all played vital roles in the Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup championship – as well as Jack Skille, who Tallon drafted seventh overall in 2005.

Campbell has already made it clear in just one game in a Panthers uniform just how much he can help this club. Campbell finished with two assists – one coming on the power play, an area the Panthers struggled in last season – in a whopping 30:04 minutes of ice time on Oct. 8 vs. the Islanders (a 2-0 Florida win). Campbell, along with Ed Jovanovski (brought back this summer for his second stint with Florida, last playing for the organization in 1999) provide solid veteran presences to the young talents on Florida’s back end, including recent first-round picks Erik Gudbranson (age 19), Dmitry Kulikov (age 20) and Keaton Ellerby (22).

The Panthers brought in veteran Jose Theodore to replace the departed Tomas Vokoun. Although Theodore struggled last season with Minnesota, he posted back-to-back 30-plus win campaigns from 2008-10 and is a former Vezina and Hart Trophy winner.
  • This is the first time the Penguins have played a home opener against the Florida Panthers. Pittsburgh is 22-14-7 all-time in home openers and enter Tuesday's game having won three of their past five home openers dating back to a 4-0 win vs. Philadelphia on Oct. 5, 2006.
  • Pittsburgh swept Florida last season for the first time ever in the series history. A win Tuesday by the Penguins would allow them to equal their longest consecutive winning streak against the Panthers (5, Feb. 1, 1994-Feb. 7, 1995).
  • The Penguins have gone 12-4 against the Panthers since the beginning of the 2007-08 season. Pittsburgh enters tonight’s game having won five straight home games against the Panthers dating back to a 4-1 win at Mellon Arena on March 10, 2009. The Penguins are 7-1 against Florida in their last eight home games overall.
  • The Penguins are unbeaten after three games for the first time since starting 2-0-1 in 1998-99 – and just the 10th time in team history. With a win Tuesday the Penguins would be unbeaten through four games for the just the fifth time in team history and the first time since starting 12-0-1 in 1994-95.
  • Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has posted great numbers in home openers during his career – going 3-2-1 with a 2.15 goals- against average, a .939 save percentage and one shutout in six starts. Included in those numbers are three instances where he has made 40 or more saves.
  • In their last 10 meetings against one another, the Penguins and Panthers have played six one-goal games –with Pittsburgh winning all six. Of the six one-goal games, five have required an overtime or shootout (2 overtime; 3 shootout). Additionally, in the most recent meeting between the teams on April 2 of last year, the Penguins prevailed 4-2, but their fourth goal was an empty-net tally by Craig Adams with 30 seconds remaining in regulation.




2010-11 STAT CHART

D Robert Bortuzzo, lower-body (indefinitely)
F Sidney Crosby, concussion (indefinitely)
F Dustin Jeffrey, knee (indefinitely)
F Evgeni Malkin, lower-body (day-to-day)
D Brooks Orpik, lower abdominal/hernia (day-to-day)
F Nick Petersen, concussion (indefinitely)
D Boris Valabik, knee (indefinitely)
Cooke (2) Weiss/Garrison (1)
Letang (4) Campbell (2)
Letang (5) Campbell (2)
Malkin (8) Upshall (15)
Three tied with (1) Five tied with (1)
Five tied with (1) Garrison (1)
Cooke (1)
Fleury (2-0-0)
Theodore (1-0-0)
Fleury (2.88) Theodore (0.00)
Fleury (.893) Theodore (1.00)

G Scott Clemmensen, right knee surgery (end of October)
F Mike Santorelli, shoulder (week-to-week)





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Author: Michelle Crechiolo
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