VERIZON GAME DAY REPORT
And one from the Flyers room...Kimmo Timonen
PENS HOST SPECIAL YOUNG FAN
Noah Brocklebank, a 13-year-old Penguins fan from Columbia, Md., was invited to the team’s morning skate and game against their cross-state rivals after they saw his story. It received international attention when a CBS report detailed his experience with bullying, which led him to announce a suicide attempt on social media (read the full story here).
After the video of Noah, wearing a Marc-Andre Fleury t-shirt, was released, he received support from around the globe – including a taped message from Fleury, Tomas Vokoun, Kris Letang and Matt Cooke, saying they couldn't wait to meet him on Sunday.
Full story on Noah's visit here.
THEY SAID IT
Malkin will not play in tonight's game
Crosby listens attentively to assistant coach Tony Granato
Pens gather around coach Bylsma
Letang (who also will not play) takes a shot at starting goalie Fleury
Awesome shot of Kunitz with a puck on his blade
Neal with a smile on his face
Another shot of Fleury
--Michelle Crechiolo and Wes Crosby
- Head coach Dan Bylsma said Malkin and Letang will not play tonight.
- Malkin said that he's still feeling a little pain in his shoulder.
- Kennedy "should be good for the game tonight," per Bylsma.
- Fleury in goal.
MORNING SKATE INFO
The Pens had a full compliment of players for their morning skate, including injured players Evgeni Malkin (upper body) and Kris Letang (lower body). Malkin did not skate on a line and Letang worked on the bottom D-pair. Tyler Kennedy, who missed the team's previous game with an illness, was also present and worked on a line.
The Penguins host Philadelphia on Sunday for their fourth and final meeting of the season with the Flyers. Because of a quirk in the schedule, the Flyers haven’t played since last Monday – a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Flyers have been forced to sit and watch as teams gain position on them in the standings, and they’ve since dropped to 14th place in the Eastern Conference with just 27 points. They're desperate and they'll be hungry to end a lengthy Penguins winning streak for a third straight season.
Penguins fans remember Max Talbot as a locker room favorite and a heart-and-soul player who stepped up at crucial times, his most memorable performance coming in Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. He’s trying to do that right now for the struggling Flyers as they battle to make the playoffs. It was a rough first half of the season for Talbot, as he went goalless in his first 21 games. But he’s broken through with three goals in his last four games, including one shorthanded tally.
Full game preview here.
START THE DAY
Good morning Pens fans! Today the Pens will take on cross-state rival Philadelphia as they go for their 12th straight victory. Over the past three seasons, the Pens have had three 10-plus game winning streak. The Flyers ended the previous two streaks. Will they end this third streak as well? Or will the Pens get through it for the dozen?
To get you pumped for tonight's action, here is "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. Always a good song to get fired up for a game. (Note from Michelle: Sam didn't plan this, but the first line of this song is "I'm going to Wichita..." very fitting considering #9 seed Wichita State knocked #1 seed Gonzaga out of the NCAA tournament last night).