GAME DAY REPORT
Celina Pompeani and Sam Kasan discuss the Penguins taking on the Flyers tonight on Rivalry Night. --Michelle Crechiolo
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Brayden Schenn leads the pack
Voracek plays takeaway
Michael Raffl and Jakub Voracek
Claude Giroux receives a pass--Haley Sawyer
PENSTV INTERVIEWSDaniel Winnik Derrick Pouliot --Michelle Crechiolo
QUOTE 'EM--Michelle Crechiolo and Haley Sawyer
After the Pens' optional skate head coach Mike Johnston provided a couple of updates on players.
- Kris Letang, who went to the hospital to get checked out after crashing hard into the boards during Saturday's game against Arizona, is still out and will continue to be evaluated. He hasn’t exercised or skated.
- Christian Ehrhoff, who has missed three straight games and 20 of the last 28, skated this morning on his own. Johnston said they will see how he recovers over the next 24 hours and if he’s ready to practice either tomorrow or Friday.
Note: Marc-Andre Fleury was the first goalie off the ice, which means he'll be in goal tonight vs. Philly.--Michelle Crechiolo
Thomas Greiss tries a balancing act
Beau Bennet takes a shot on Flower
Winnick and Perron lock eyes
Lovey takes two twigs
Greisser gets a pep talk
Tocchet drops some knowledge for Beau--Haley Sawyer
MORNING SKATE INFO
It's a very optional morning skate for the Pens here at CONSOL Energy Center. There are 10 total players participating: Winnik, Spaling, Perron, Bennett, Adams, Pouliot, Lovejoy, Cole, Fleury and Greiss.--Michelle Crechiolo
The Pens are currently up against the salary cap and are being forced to play with five defensemen for the foreseeable future.
(Note: All NHL teams had to submit their AHL rosters by 3 p.m. on NHL deadline day. The only player on the current roster that was submitted is Derrick Pouliot. Therefore the only player on the Pens’ roster that can be sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is Pouliot. Thus, they can’t send a forward down to recall a blueliner).
Yesterday after practice, Sam Kasan talked to assistant coach Gary Agnew, who's in charge of the blue line, and defenseman Ian Cole on how the back end is dealing with being down a man for the second game in a row and third time since March 21. Read what they had to say here
SCOUTING THE FLYERS
It's been a while since we've seen the Flyers, as the last meeting was back on Jan. 20 in Philadelphia (a wild 3-2 OT win for the bad guys). Watch below to see what's been going on with them in the months since... --Michelle Crechiolo
The Pens PR staff even did the infograph notes in blue to help raise awareness for autism. My favorite part of this Digital Preview is the confetti that communications grad assistant Evan Schall used in the Player Spotlight square in honor of Max Lapierre's 30th birthday. --Michelle Crechiolo
LIGHT IT UP BLUE
Tonight the Penguins' coaches, hockey operations and front office staff will all be wearing blue tonight to help raise awareness for autism – the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States.
The eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day is this Thursday and organizations around the world will be shining a light on autism when they “Light It Up Blue” for autism awareness.
The Penguins will be a part of that, as they will have special graphics on the American Eagle LED pucks and the ice will be illuminated blue during intermissions.
This is a cause that's important to Penguins goaltender Thomas Greiss, who wears an Autism Awareness decal on the back of his goalie mask in honor of his girlfriend's niece, as she has been diagnosed as being on the spectrum. Greiss has also spent this season assisting the Steel City Icebergs, a local special needs hockey team that plays in the American Special Hockey Association.Full story here
START THE DAY
Good morning from CONSOL Energy Center! The Pens host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports for their weekly Rivalry Night, which is certainly fitting for this matchup. While the Flyers were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday (which was met with loud cheers when Steve Kolbe announced it on the videoboard during our game), it doesn't matter where either team is in the standings when they meet. There's never any shortage of passion, emotion and intensity in these games no matter what the situation is.
Here's a few notes to get you ready for the matchup...
- The Penguins complete a three-game homestand against the Philadelphia Flyers (TV: NBC Sports; Radio 105.9 The X) at CONOSL Energy Center.
- The Penguins need five points in their final six games to reach 100 for the fifth consecutive full season and the seventh time in the last eight years (excludes shortened campaign).
- Pittsburgh is hoping to end a six-game winless stretch (0-4-2) against the Flyers.
- Sidney Crosby finished the month of March with the second-most assists (12) and tied for the third-most points (17) in the NHL.
- The Penguins' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 5.
Stick tap: Pens PR--Michelle Crechiolo