Pittsburgh Penguins (19-8-0) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (15-11-1)
ROOT, SNET-O, RDS - 7:00 pm/et
Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ON
The last Pens/Leafs game from a few days ago was an entertaining contest, except for the Malkin injury of course. The Pens needed a shootout to triumph over the Leafs last time. What will happen tonight with the Pens looking to win seven in-a-row?
Season Series: 1-1-0
Last meeting that counted: March 9, 2013. Penguins won 5-4 [SO].
What we said in our recap:
Right before Sidney Crosby suffered his concussion, he was undoubtedly playing the best hockey we've ever seen him play. Then he was gone from the game for the better part of two years. It's taken Crosby 25 games to get back to where he was. There were countless "Jesus, did you see what Crosby just did" moments in this game. There was just something about his performance in this one that reminded us of the pre-concussion Sid. What's scary is that he was already leading the league in points before this.
But it wasn't just Crosby. The offense continued to roll with goals from James Neal and Pascal Dupuis. Paul Martin got credit for a goal that originally looked like Beau Bennett's.
This was one of the most entertaining games of the season. Another one that immediately comes to mind is that game in Winnipeg early in the season. It's just great hockey. The score didn't get out of hand. Every player on the ice had the chance to be the hero. It was great. It has us yearning for a Pens-Leafs playoff series.
Know Your Enemy: Pension Plan Puppets
What they're saying:
Only two days removed from a disappointing loss against the Winnipeg Jets, speculation was abound that the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to need to do something to shake up their defense corps.
With calls for Jake Gardiner coming in loud and clear, head coach Randy Carlyle decided to make a change.
However, it didn't involve Gardiner.
Following an optional skate on Thursday morning, Carlyle confirmed that defenseman John-Michael Liles was going to play against the Pittsburgh Penguins later that night. Liles had been a healthy scratch in 12 consecutive games. In 15 appearances this season, Liles has produced a goal and five assists for six points in 20:20 of average ice-time.
Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:
Kunitz - Crosby - Dupuis
Bennett - Jeffrey - Neal
Cooke - Sutter - Kennedy
Glass - Vitale - Adams
Orpik - Martin
Despres - Letang
Niskanen - Engelland
Toronto Maple Leafs Lines:
van Reimsdyk - Bozak - Kessel
Frattin - Grabovski - Kulemin
MacArthur - Kadri - Komarov
McLaren - McClement - Orr
Phaneuf - Holzer
Gunnarsson - Liles
Franson - Fraser
Pens lines via Penguins.NHL.com. Leafs lines via DailyFaceoff.com.