PENS READY TO FIGHT CANCER
Head equipment manager Dana Heinze (@RealDanaHeinze) tweeted these awesome photos of the locker room all ready to go with the special purple jerseys and tape the Pens will be using during pre-game warm-ups Wednesday as part of the team’s “Hockey Fights Cancer” night at CONSOL Energy Center.
The jerseys will then be autographed and auctioned after the game at nhl.com, with proceeds benefitting the Mario Lemieux Foundation and the UPMC CancerCenter Patient Assistance Fund.
GAME DAY REPORT
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
The Penguins aren’t just welcoming to Pittsburgh the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins tonight. They’ll also be saying hello to an old friend.
Jarome Iginla returns to the place he briefly called home last spring. The Penguins acquired the future Hall of Fame winger at last season’s trade deadline from the Calgary Flames. In 13 games with the Penguins, Iginla scored five goals, including four power-play tallies, and 11 points.
Iginla, 36, added four goals and 12 points in 15 postseason contests to help the Penguins advance to the conference finals, where they fell 4-0 to the Bruins.
“For myself it was a good experience. We got to the conference finals. Each series was memorable,” Iginla said in the Bruins locker room Tuesday. “It was nice to come and play with the guys there. It was a great experience. It just didn’t end the way we hoped, but it was still pretty cool to be a part of.”
Iginla traded the Penguins black and gold for the Bruins black and gold, signing with Boston in the offseason. Now he can experience the Pens-Bruins rivalry on the other side.
“It’s obviously a rivalry. It’s cool to be a part of,” Iginla said. “It’s only going to grow. The way the playoffs went last year I imagine that animosity between the two teams will get more and more. For a few years they’ve been battling near the top of the league. It’s fun to be a part of it.”
Even though he has a new home, Iginla still looks back fondly on his time dressing in the home locker room at CONSOL Energy Center.
“When I got there we had a big winning streak. That got broken then we got on another winning streak,” he said. “There were lots of positives as far as winning and winning most of our games. It just didn’t end well. It was a pretty drastic ending, quick and sudden and being out.
“Now it’s different to be on the other side of it and battle. But it’s fun. It’s a part of sports.”
The B's skate at CONSOL Energy Center for the first time since June...
Jarome Iginla is wearing black and gold (or black and yellow) again this season, just not with the Pens
Iginla wasn't here very long, but it was an honor to have covered him during those few months. True professional, class act and fantastic human being.
The anchors of Boston's defense: Tuukka Rask and Zdeno Chara
Brad Marchand was effective against the Pens in the playoffs, but right now he only has 1 goal in 10 games
Two-way star Patrice Bergeron had two goals and 4 points in the 4-game series against Pittsburgh
Milan Lucic captured with quite the glare on his face in this photo. He has 6 goals to lead the Bruins on their top line with Iginla and David Krejci
--Michelle Crechiolo and Dave Uhrmacher
The Pens talked about their first meeting with the Bruins since being swept by them in the Eastern Conference finals...
--Michelle Crechiolo and Dave Uhrmacher
Two injury updates of note from head coach Dan Bylsma:
- Rob Scuderi had surgery today on his ankle
- Beau Bennett skated this morning at an increased level
Bylsma also said that Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal and Dustin Jeffrey will be in the lineup. Jeffrey has sat out the last six games as a healthy scratch. Fleury enters tonight's game having gone 19-4 in his last 23 home starts dating back to the beginning of last season. He's won three straight starts against the Bruins and five of his last six starts. --Sam Kasan
Nisky and Glass stretch out
Vitale and Fleury with some playful banter
Jokinen is focused
Megna eyes up the goal
Dupuis and coach Bylsma
Engelland with a stiff upper lip
Fleury playing the right angle
MORNING SKATE INFO
In a twist to their normal morning skate routine, the Pens did not do line rushes. Maybe coach Bylsma has something tricky up his sleeve? Or probably not. Although Dustin Jeffrey did work with the second power-play unit. That doesn't mean he will play tonight, but something to chew on.
They did work on their power play. Below were the units:
PP 1: Martin, Letang, Crosby, Malkin & Kunitz
PP 2: Maatta, Niskanen, Jokinen, Sutter & Jeffrey
A PEEK IN(SIDE) THE ROOM
MARTIN DOING IT ALL
To be honest, Martin said, skating as much as he does has the opposite effect on him.
“I think as a defenseman or as anyone, you take a lot of pride in what you do,” he said. “And to have that accountability from the coaches and know that they put you in there in those situations, you definitely take a lot of pride in that. And almost sometimes the more you play, the better you feel.”
But it’s not just that he’s on the ice a lot. It’s what he does when he’s there. Martin is the type of player that makes incredibly smart and cerebral plays on both ends of the rink that may not always be noticeable in their impact, are very much appreciated by his teammates and coaches.
Full story here.
CROSBY ON COSTAS
Tonight after the game make sure you stay tuned to NBC Sports Network to catch Sidney Crosby on "Costas Tonight." Crosby discusses various topics with broadcaster Bob Costas. The show aired last night, but can be seen again this evening following the game.
(NBC Sports Network)
PENS FIGHT CANCER
Penguins players will wear special purple jerseys in pre-game warm-ups Wednesday as part of the team’s “Hockey Fights Cancer” night at CONSOL Energy Center. The jerseys will then be autographed and auctioned after the game at nhl.com, with proceeds benefitting the Mario Lemieux
Foundation and the UPMC CancerCenter Patient Assistance Fund.
Among the team’s other initiatives supporting Hockey Fights Cancer:
•The spine of CONSOL Energy Center will be lit purple (facing Washington Place)
•The Gulf Tower beacon will be lit purple.
•Coaches, broadcasters and Penguins staff will be wearing Hockey Fights Cancer ties.
•Penguins’ wives and girlfriends will be selling “Mystery Pucks” for $50 on the concourse, with proceeds benefitting the Mario Lemieux Foundation and the UPMC CancerCenter Patient Assistance Fund.
•Hockey Fights Cancer merchandise will be on sale at the PensGear store.
For a preview of tonight's big showdown click here. For those attending click
START ME UP
Good morning hockey fans! Tonight the Penguins battle the Boston Bruins in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals. Here are some quick game notes...
- The Penguins return home to face the Boston Bruins (8 p.m.; TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: 105.9 the X) at CONSOL Energy Center.
- Tonight the Penguins are attempting to end the team’s two-game home losing streak. Since CONSOL Energy Center opened in 2010, the Penguins have only experienced two losing streaks at home of three or more games –Oct. 7-13, 2010 (3 games) and Dec. 29, 2011-Jan. 10, 2012 (4 games).
- Pittsburgh has a six-game regular-season winning streak against Boston dating back to Feb. 4, 2012.
- The Penguins have gone 8-1 in their last nine regular-season matchups with Boston. Pittsburgh has held Boston to two or fewer goals in seven of the nine games. The Bruins have 18 total goals in those nine games.
- Pittsburgh has won three straight regular-season games against Boston at CONSOL Energy Center.
(Stick tap: Pens PR)
My buddy Wally (who isn't on Twitter) sent me a video to start today's the blog. It's a cover of Mumford & Sons "Sigh No More." I love it so much that I am going to play it. We'll return to all the fans' song requests for the next game day Pens Report.