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Panthers at Penguins preview

Florida goaltender Luongo taking aim at 455th NHL win, sole possession of fourth all-time; Pittsburgh forward Rust looks to continue quick start

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PANTHERS (2-1-0) at PENGUINS (2-2-1)

7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, FS-F, NHL.TV 

 

The Game

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo will attempt to take sole possession of fourth place on the NHL all-time wins list when he faces the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

Luongo, who is expected to start after going 1-1 with a 3.05 goals-against-average and .905 save percentage in his first two games, is looking for his 455th win, which would pass Curtis Joseph (454). Ed Belfour is alone in third place with 484 wins.

Penguins goaltender Matt Murray will try to deny Luongo by helping Pittsburgh bounce back from a 5-4 loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. The Penguins have allowed at least five goals in three of their first five games.

 

Players to watch

Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad has scored two points (one goal, one assist) in each of his past two games. Three games into the season, he is 10 points shy of his 14 (seven goals, seven assists) in 54 games last season.

Penguins forward Bryan Rust, who took 22 games to reach seven points last season, leads Pittsburgh with seven points (one goal, six assists). After eight multi-point games in his first three NHL seasons, Rust has three in his first five games this season.

 

They said it

"Once [the puck] goes the other way, [the Penguins are] gone. They play a fast game. They push the pace hard, much like we want to play." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner

"Nothing's etched in stone, and I'm perfectly OK with it." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, on frequent changes throughout Pittsburgh's lineup

 

Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Jamie McGinn -- Vincent Trocheck -- Radim Vrbata

Connor Brickley -- Jared McCann -- Nick Bjugstad

Micheal Haley -- Derek MacKenzie -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson -- Mark Pysyk

Ian McCoshen -- Alex Petrovic

Roberto Luongo

James Reimer

Scratched: MacKenzie Weegar, Owen Tippett

Injured: None

 

Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Conor Sheary

Bryan Rust -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin -- Greg McKegg -- Patric Hornqvist

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Carter Rowney -- Ryan Reaves

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Matt Hunwick -- Justin Schultz

Olli Maatta -- Chad Ruhwedel

Matt Murray

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Josh Archibald, Scott Wilson, Chris Summers

Injured: Ian Cole (face)

 

Status report

Sullivan adjusted his forward lines again during the morning skate by elevating Jake Guentzel back to first-line left wing and bumping Patric Hornqvist from first-line right wing to third-line right wing. Conor Sheary moved from center Sidney Crosby's left to his right on the first line. Rust was promoted back to second-line left wing, which moved Carl Hagelin to third-line left wing.

 

Stat pack

Florida's 13 goals in its first three games are a franchise-best to start the season. … The Penguins are 7-0-2 in the past nine games against the Panthers, their longest stretch without a regulation loss in the history of the series.

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