The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins took to the ice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania for a bit of final preparation for tomorrow night’s opening round match up against the rival Philadelphia Flyers.
The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs will mark the seventh time that the Penguins and Flyers meet in the playoffs with the Flyers holding a 4-2 advantage over the Penguins over the course of their history. Of course, none of that matters when the puck drops at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh tomorrow night. The Penguins, a Stanley Cup favorite for the third season in a row, thoroughly dominated the Flyers this regular season going undefeated with a 2-0-2 record in the teams’ four divisional games.
So… just what can we expect tomorrow night? Don’t expect any surprises from Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan as it appears he’ll ice a deep lineup full of Stanley Cup winning, veteran talent. Here are tomorrow night’s expected lines, courtesy of official team bloggers Pens Inside Scoop:
For those not able to log on to Twitter and see the lines, they are as follows:
Guentzel - Crosby - Rust
Hagelin - Malkin - Hornqvist
Sheary - Brassard - Kessel
Aston Reese - Sheahan - Kuhnahackl
Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Oleksiak - Ruhwedel
Forward Carter Rowney was the only player missing from the team's skate this morning and it appears that he won't be healthy enough to suit up tomorrow night. It’s expected that goaltender Matt Murray will get the start in net with rookie Casey DeSmith backing him up.
As for the Flyers, Adam Kimelman of NHL.com reports that the team will lineup just as they have the past few games, with no real roster changes for tomorrow night's opening game.
Again, for those not on Twitter the lineup is as follows:
Giroux - Couturier - Raffl
Lindblom - Patrick - Voracek
Konecny - Filppula - Simmonds
Laughton - Lehtera - Read
Provorov - Gostisbehere
Sanheim - MacDonald
Manning - Gudas
Head coach Dave Hakstol has not yet named his starting goaltender for tomorrow's game.
Puck drop is 7pm tomorrow night at PPG Paints Arena. Let's go, boys!