Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
Pittsburgh
Penguins
Colorado
Avalanche

28 SOG
36 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PIT
COL
game preview

Desperate Avs host surging Penguins

Friday, 03.02.2012 / 6:57 PM

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

PENGUINS (37-21-5) at AVALANCHE (33-28-4)

TV:
ROOT (HD), ALTITUDE (HD)

LAST 10:
Pittsburgh 7-2-1; Colorado 6-3-1

Season Series:
This is the second and final meeting of the season. The Penguins won 6-3 in Pittsburgh on Nov. 15.

Big Story:
The Penguins are pretty securely in the playoffs and looking to secure home-ice advantage in a first-round series as enter the final month of the season. The Avalanche, meanwhile, are in a battle for a playoff spot in the West.

Team Scope:

Penguins:
They are red-hot, winners of four straight and seven of nine. They're coming off a 4-3 shootout win in Dallas on Wednesday night, rallying from down a goal in the third period.

The win came at a cost, however. Defenseman Kris Letang took a hit from the Stars' Eric Nystrom that left him with concussion-like symptoms. It's the second time this season that Letang has dealt with concussion issues, and he won't play against the Avs because of it.

"It was a bad situation for Kris," coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It's whether you've had one or a couple before. You're concerned for the player's health. He took a hard hit."

The Penguins are calling Letang day-to-day.

Avalanche:
They had every reason to bring their best Wednesday night against the Blue Jackets, the NHL's 30th-place team with nothing to play for but pride. The Avs had all the motivation in the world -- a win would have moved them into eighth place in the West.

Instead, the Avs played one of their worst games of the season, losing 2-0 at home.

"It's frustrating for sure," left wing Gabriel Landeskog said. "We definitely weren't ready to play. I don't know what the reason was, but we weren't sharp enough. We were chasing the game after the first period."

Before the loss, the Avs had won four straight.

Who's Hot:
Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov hasn't allowed more than two goals in his last five starts. … Penguins star Evgeni Malkin had an outstanding February, posting 10 goals and 10 assists in 13 games.

Injury Report:
Besides Letang, Penguins forward Steve Sullivan is questionable for this game with a lower-body injury suffered against the Stars. Tyler Kennedy has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain. … Colorado's Chuck Kobasew suffered an injury in practice Wednesday and missed the Jackets game.

Stat Pack: The Penguins allowed just 2 power-play goals in 43 shorthanded situations in February. The Avs are 4-for-29 on the power play in their last 15 games. During that stretch, the Avs have 12 games in which they've received no more than two power-play opportunities.

Puck Drop:
"I liked the response from our team. We came out hard and played well in the third period." -- Bylsma on his team's comeback win vs. Dallas

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 03 '12PIT 5 at COL 1D. Engelland
Nov 15 '11COL 3 at PIT 6E. Malkin
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
E. Malkin57384280+1250108
J. Neal64303262+366133
C. Kunitz64182644+83352
P. Dupuis64152237+133205
S. Sullivan64132437-51450
J. Staal44211233+52850
K. Letang4092231+72243
M. Cooke64121527+02612
T. Kennedy4261622+22901
P. Martin5712021-41800
M. Niskanen6331518+74130
D. Engelland5841115+54901
B. Orpik5521214+143400
R. Park466713-31203
J. Vitale574913-34701
C. Adams644812-53200
A. Asham473912-46200
S. Crosby821012+7801
Z. Michalek44178-52200
C. O'Reilly33257-11410
D. Jeffrey25426-4200
S. Despres14134+4810
A. Picard17044+4400
B. Lovejoy28123+11300
J. Williams8112+1400
E. Tangradi17011-41200
M. Letestu11011-6200
C. Sneep1011+1000
S. MacIntyre11000+0400
R. Bortuzzo6000+1200
C. McDonald5000+0000
B. Strait1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Fleury5434-14-312214122.32.914
B. Johnson133-7-2352963.17.882
B. Thiessen11-0-02242.00.917
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. O'Reilly65163450+11243
G. Landeskog66182341+204143
P. Stastny63162541-62852
S. Downie61142135-812722
M. Hejduk65132134-91461
D. Jones56151328-32233
M. Duchene46131326-7852
J. McGinn63121224+02830
E. Johnson6042024-61911
K. Quincey5451823-16031
D. Winnik6351318-114200
J. Hejda6541216-142001
R. Wilson4511516+73300
J. McClement649615-102901
T. Galiardi558614-64702
S. O'Brien6121214-18710
C. Kobasew547613-104702
S. Elliott364711+3801
P. Mueller18527-1611
C. McLeod59426-414300
R. O'Byrne61156+04700
D. Van Der Gulik25156+3200
K. Porter32325-41500
J. Lindstrom16235-9010
M. Olver8224+2401
M. Hunwick17213-2200
B. Malone9022+1000
B. Yip10000+1800
T. Barrie4000-2000
E. Brophey3000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Varlamov3918-19-210611342.76.907
J. Giguere3015-10-2637882.23.920