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Game Preview: Pens-Panthers

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

The Penguins are in Florida to play the Panthers in the first game of a back-to-back.

MATCH: Penguins vs. Panthers

TIME: 7:30 p.m. EST

PLACE: BB&T Center

TV: AT&T SportsNet

RADIO: 105.9 FM, the X             

5 NOTES ON THE GAME:

1. The Pens have won four-straight games against the Panthers, one game shy of Pittsburgh's longest winning streak in the history of the series (accomplished twice previously). At the BB&T Center, the Pens are 3-0-2 in their past five visits. Overall, the Pens have a 10-game point streak against the Panthers (8-0-2).

2. Part of the Panthers' game plan is to shoot from everywhere, as they lead the NHL with an average of 41.8 shots per game and have outshot their opponents in 4 of their 5 games. That includes their 4-3 loss to the Pens on Oct. 14, where Matt Murray faced a regular-season career-high 46 shots.

3. Both Mike Sullivan and Sidney Crosby said it would be crucial for them to hold onto the puck against the Panthers, a skilled team with speed who's good off the rush. "We've got to make sure we take care of the puck, we don't feed their transition game and we hang onto the puck down in the offensive zone and force them to have to expend energy defending us," Sullivan said. "I think that's how you control momentum in games - when you control territory - and that's when our team is at its best."

4. Crosby scored twice in the matchup last week, and enters this game with a four-game goal-scoring streak against the Panthers (7 goals total). Meanwhile, Patric Hornqvist has a three-game point streak (2G-1A) against Florida.

5. Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau also scored twice in that game. He has registered at least a point in every game he's played this season and has 7 points (4G-3A) in 11 career games against the Pens.

INJURIES:

PIT - Matt Hunwick (concussion)

FLA - None

MORNING SKATE:

The Pens did not hold a morning skate. Sullivan will speak to the media at 5:30 p.m.

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