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Penguins Report: Game Day vs. Buffalo

Tuesday, 04.02.2013 / 9:33 AM / Penguins Report
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Penguins Report: Game Day vs. Buffalo



VERIZON GAME DAY REPORT


--Sam Kasan



PIRATES CATCHER VISITS PENS
The Pens welcomed a special guest to their morning skate. Russell Martin, a catcher for the MLB Pittsburgh Pirates, took in the skate, met a few Pens and toured the locker room. Martin, who hails from Toronto, is a three-time MLB All-Star and won a Gold Glove and Slugger awards.



Martin meeting with head coach Dan Bylsma


Martin greeted by Jarome Iginla



Matt Cooke chats with Russell

--Sam Kasan & Drew Hancherick



SOUNDS HEARD AROUND THE ROOM...

Dan Bylsma



Jarome Iginla



Tyler Kennedy



Brandon Sutter



--Sam Kasan



SABRES PICS
Thomas Vanek will not be in the lineup tonight for Buffalo. Miller starting in goal.




Ryan Miller




Vanek will not play tonight for Buffalo















--Sam Kasan & Drew Hancherick



PENS PICS


Iginla and Bortuzzo


Engelland


Neal


Iginla


Group


Neal, Jeffrey and Adams


Vokoun




--Sam Kasan & Drew Hancherick



THEY SAID IT





--Michelle Crechiolo



COACHSPEAK WITH DAN BYLSMA...
Head coach Dan Bylsma had a few updates...

  • Sidney Crosby left the hospital Monday afternoon
  • Kris Letang skated on his own prior to morning skate
  • Vokoun starting in net; rest of lineup is game-time


--Sam Kasan



MORNING SKATE INFO
Sidney Crosby (broken jaw), Kris Letang (lower body) and Paul Martin (broken hand) were the only absent players from the team's morning skate.

Kunitz-Kennedy-Dupuis
Iginla-Malkin-Neal
Morrow-Sutter-Cooke
Glass-Jeffrey-Adams
(Vitale)

Orpik-Eaton
Murray-Niskanen
Engelland-Despres-Bortuzzo

--Sam Kasan



71 and 29))))
Here's another gem from Evgeni Malkin's Instagram account (emalkin71_). Rockin' the old school goalie masks.




--Sam Kasan



GAME PREVIEW


Vanek impressed in a Feb. 17 matchup with the Pens, scoring two points (1G-1A), but Buffalo lost a 4-3 decision. While he has been sidelined, the Sabres have struggled to replace his point total, leading to a 0-2-2 record in their last four games, capped by a 2-0 shutout against the Boston Bruins Sunday.

Coming off of a shutout might be an ominous sign for the Sabres as they enter CONSOL Energy Center. They will face a team that has earned three consecutive shutouts for the first time in franchise history and has cut its goals against average to just 2.33, good for fourth best in the NHL.


Full preview here.

--Sam Kasan



KEEP CALM AND PLAY D
The Penguins have shut out their opponents in three straight games, not allowing a goal in the last 208:24 minutes of play – establishing a new team record. The previous team record was 187:30 set between Jan. 31-Feb. 13, 1993 (
Ken Wregget/Tom Barasso). The last goal given up by Pittsburgh was to Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux at 14:09 of the second period on March 24.

The Penguins have now held their opponents to two or fewer goals in their past 11 games. During that span they have allowed just nine goals and have recorded four shutouts – with top defensemen Kris Letang and Paul Martin, who lead the team in minutes played, missing a combined six of those games.

Their transition to playing committed defense happened early in the winning streak after allowing 17 goals in the first four victories. While they knew they could keep winning games outscoring teams, they also knew having that mentality and getting into habits like that wouldn’t get them anywhere in the postseason.

Full story here.



--Sam Kasan



PENS PLAY ON WITHOUT CROSBY
The Pens begin life without Crosby today as he remains out indefinitely with a broken jaw. But there's no need to panic. This team is still loaded, and they've had lots of practice playing without their captain over the past two seasons.

It’s a huge blow to any team that loses its best player, especially when its best player is also the best player in the world. But this isn’t any team.

“It’s a huge loss,” James Neal said. “The way ‘Sid’ has been playing is unbelievable. We have good depth on this team. It gives guys a chance to step up, especially the new guys. I think we’ll be OK.”

While the Penguins would always prefer to have Crosby in the lineup, they still have a pretty potent collection of talent in Evgeni Malkin (himself an NHL MVP and two-time scoring champion), James Neal (a 40-goal scorer), Jarome Iginla (one scoring title and two goal-scoring titles), Chris Kunitz, Brenden Morrow, Brandon Sutter and Pascal Dupuis.

Full story here.


(Getty Images)

--Sam Kasan



START THE DAY
Good morning Pens fans! Tonight the Pens will host the Buffalo Sabres at CONSOL Energy Center at 7:30 p.m. They'll hit the ice for their morning skate at 10:30 a.m.

---

Today we'll start the day by going back to my college days. Here's Jimmy Eat World with "The Middle." It's also a nice message to Penguins fans that are concerned with the loss of Sidney Crosby. "You're in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine. Everything, everything will be all right."

Enjoy.



--Sam Kasan

CONSOL Energy Center CONSOL ENERGY PNC Wealth Management UPMC FedEx Ground Verizon Dick's Sporting Goods 84 Lumber American Eagle Outfitters Highmark