Pittsburgh at Florida
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, December 22, 2014
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida
After completing a perfect three-game homestand, the Pittsburgh Penguins vie for a home-and-home sweep against the Florida Panthers when the teams meet in the Sunshine State on Monday. Marc-Andre Fleury has been dominant during his personal four-game winning streak, stopping 128-of-132 shots - including a season-high 45 in Saturday's 3-1 triumph over Florida. Captain Sidney Crosby scored his first goal in nine games as the Penguins posted their 21st victory in 29 meetings with the Panthers.
Florida first-year coach Gerard Gallant was quick to credit Pittsburgh's potent lineup but also praised his team's performance in the Steel City. "They're a good team, but if we play like that every night, I think we'll win more games than we lose," Gallant said. "We want another crack at them." The Panthers will have that chance at BB&T Center, where they are 4-0-1 in their last five games - with each result being a one-goal decision.TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, RSN, TVA, ROOT (Pittsburgh), FSN FloridaABOUT THE PENGUINS (22-6-4):
Defenseman Derrick Pouliot became the first Pittsburgh player to record his first goal on his initial shot in the NHL debut since Brian Gibbons tallied versus Anaheim on Nov. 18, 2013. "It's incredible. You dream about that moment happening," said Pouliot, who was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League prior to Saturday's game. The eighth overall pick of the 2012 draft, Pouliot was in the lineup with fellow blue-liners Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff sidelined with undisclosed injuries.ABOUT THE PANTHERS (14-9-8):
Aaron Ekblad continued his impressive first season by setting up Vincent Trocheck's power-play goal to pass Dmitry Kulikov for the franchise record for assists by a rookie defenseman with 14. The top overall pick of the 2014 draft, Ekblad had been held off the scoresheet in the previous four contests after erupting for three goals and four assists during a five-game stretch. Trocheck, a Pittsburgh native, had been a healthy scratch for two straight contests prior to scoring his third goal of the season.OVERTIME
1. Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin saw his six-game point streak come to an end Saturday but has recorded four goals and 12 assists in his last 14 meetings with Florida.
2. Panthers G Roberto Luongo made 31 saves on Saturday but fell to 1-2-4 in his last eight starts versus the Penguins.
3. Pittsburgh failed on all six power-play opportunities to drop to 2-for-35 in its last 11 contests.PREDICTION:
Panthers 3, Penguins 2
Stats and Records