GAME DAY REPORT
Celina Pompeani and Sam Kasan discuss Robert Bortuzzo and Ian Cole playing their former teams as the Penguins take on the Blues tonight. --Michelle Crechiolo
PENSTV INTERVIEWSIan Cole Derrick Pouliot Beau Bennett --Michelle Crechiolo
Odd seeing Bobby Bortuzzo in blue.
Another former Pen, Zbynek Michalek, was acquired by St. Louis at the deadline
Got busted taking a photo by the Blues' goals and points leader Vladimir Tarasenko
Alex Steen has 4 goals in his last 6 games entering tonight
Yet another former Pen, Marcel Goc, fuels up with orange Gatorade
I thought Goc's all-black skate guards were pretty legit
American hero TJ Oshie--Michelle Crechiolo
--Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan
Pens head coach Mike Johnston anticipates Ehrhoff being back in the lineup and said the team will use seven defensemen and 11 forwards. Malkin and Hornqvist skated on their own before the morning skate and will obviously not be in the lineup tonight. --Sam Kasan
MORNING SKATE PHOTOS
Get ready for a series of photos of the guys saying hi to Robert Bortuzzo on the visitors' bench. Crosby said afterwards, "It was weird seeing him on the other side, but it looks like he’s doing well and it seems like talking to him, he’s comfortable there and adjusting to things nicely. So it’s never easy but knowing that he’s happy there and enjoying his time, I think that’s most important."
Borts with his former roommate and BFF Beau Bennett
Borts with Crosby
Downie came over to shake Borts' hand and ask how he was
Current Blue Bortuzzo and former Blue Lapierre
Pens coach Johnston skates around with Derrick Pouliot, who was recalled this morning
Ehrhoff, who was a late scratch on Saturday in Arizona and didn't practice Sunday, was on the ice
Ian Cole will be playing his former team for the first time since being traded to Pittsburgh at the deadline
Winnik tapes his stick at the bench
Perron and Comeau skate around
Coach Johnston has a chat with his captain--Michelle Crechiolo
MORNING SKATE INFO
The Pens made some early roster adjustments. They recalled defenseman Derrick Pouliot from WBS and re-assigned Andrew Ebbett to make room. That means right now, the Pens are carrying seven defensemen and 11 forwards. Christian Ehrhoff was the only injured player at the skate. Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist, both of whom were on the ice at Sunday's practice, skated on their own early this morning.
The Pens used a line combo of Kunitz-Crosby-Perron during rushes. The rest was a mish-mash of the remaining eight forwards. --Sam Kasan
SCOUTING THE BLUES
In this look at tonight's opponent I talk about the former Pens on St. Louis' blue line, their fifth-ranked offense and their goaltending. --Michelle Crechiolo
Here's a few notes in infograph form...--Michelle Crechiolo
START THE DAY
Good morning Pens fans! The team is finally back after a weeklong, three-game road trip with stops in New Jersey, Dallas and Arizona. They host the Central Division-leading St. Louis Blues here at CONSOL Energy Center tonight at 7 p.m. The Pens will take the ice for their morning skate at 10:30 a.m., and we'll be watching to see if Christian Ehrhoff, Evgeni Malkin and/or Patric Hornqvist participate.
The Pens defeated the Blues 4-2 in their first meeting of the season on Feb. 21 at Scottrade Center. Here's a few notes to get you ready for this matchup...
- The Penguins host the St. Louis Blues (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio 105.9 The X) at CONSOL Energy Center.
- Saturday’s win in Arizona allowed the Penguins to reach the 40-win mark for the eighth consecutive full season (excludes the shortened campaign).
- The Penguins need 10 points in their final 10 games to reach 100 for the fifth consecutive full season and the seventh time in the last eight years (excludes shortened campaign).
- Pittsburgh is looking to end a two-game home losing streak.
- The Penguins are looking to sweep the Blues for the first time since 1998-99.
Tonight’s game is the first between the Penguins and Blues since the teams swapped blueliners Ian Cole and Robert Bortuzzo on March 2.
- The Penguins are closing in on the team’s ninth consecutive postseason appearance. Entering tonight’s game against the Blues, Pittsburgh’s magic number to guarantee a postseason berth is 16.
- Of the four teams fighting for the final Wild Card slot in the Eastern Conference as of today, only three – Boston (the current leader), Ottawa and Florida can mathematically pass the Penguins. Philadelphia could equal Pittsburgh’s current point total of 90, but the Penguins have already guaranteed themselves to finish ahead of the Flyers in the first tiebreaker, regulation plus overtime wins (ROW).
Stick tap: Pens PR--Michelle Crechiolo