The Pittsburgh Penguins skate into Winnipeg tonight to face the Jets at the MTS Centre. They will be short Engelland because of his suspension, so they recalled Strait to provide depth or start.
Malkin and the Pens come into tonight’s game with a 2 game winning streak, including an impressive win over Chicago on Tuesday. Michalek, whom is recovering from a concussion, could play tonight, but because they brought up Strait he may in fact still sit out. The lines that will be taking the ice tonight will be as follows per the Penguins report.
There has been no updates on Crosby and Letang though Park is still about 4 to 5 weeks out. Fleury will be in the net tonight for the Pens hoping to continue his winning streak also. As for the Jets, Pavelec will be in the net tonight sporting a goals against average under 2.9 but with a 12-11-5-3 record. Winnipeg is 7-2-1 in it’s last 10 games which is surprising when you take a look at their lineup.
They lack Big Name depth, but when you take a deeper look at the roster, you can see that they are getting help up and down the lineup. This is not a team that is going to sport high point totals on a player by player basis. What you will get is at least 10 players with between 15-25 points each with Evander Kane and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien leading the way with 25 and 24 points respectively.
Johnny Oduya is a defenseman that traditionally gives the Pens fits. He started for the Devils from 2006-2010 which is where he got the most experience playing the Penguins. Winnipeg is currently2nd in the Southeast Division and tied for 8th in the conference. It may be early in the season, but every game in this conference means a great deal at this point. They are only 6 points from the top 5 spots in the Easter Conference, but only 5 points away from not being in the playoffs. That is how tight the conference is right now.
It’s early to bring up the playoffs, but with the depth in this conference you can not afford to fall down at any point.