The Montreal Canadians shut-out the New Jersey Devils last night 4-0 to take the lead in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins are currently in the 4th spot in the tightly contest conference and only 2 pts out of first and 1pt behind the division leading Devils.
The Penguins play the Sabres at home tonight at 7:30. The Penguins will be without Hossa (knee) again, as well as Sykora (back) and Talbot (ankle) for the game tonight. Hossa did practice yesterday and feels that he will be able to play Sunday against the Flyers. Bigger news is Talbot's scratch from tonight's game. It is believed that his ankle injury is related to the high ankle sprain that kept him out of the lineup twice already this season.
Ryan Stone and Connor James have been called up to replace Sykora and Talbot for tonight's game.
Some interesting stats on the Power Play
With Crosby Without Crosby
Games 49 21
PP Goals 40 25
PP Att. 226 93
PP% 26.8 17.7
Avg GPG 3.09 2.88
% goals from PP 38.5% 28.4%
My best guess for why the powerplay numbers seem to dip when Crosby is in the lineup is that the other players seem to defer to him more since he is the star. A powerplay works at its best when everyone is able to make the play, and with Crosby in the lineup, it seems like everyone waits for Crosby to make the play, and as a result, shots are passed up in an effort to make that extra pass.
I agree with Evil Tiger on the "Speak Up" part of the group's page.
The Powerplay lines should be:
Malkin, Malone, Sykora
Crosby, Hossa, Staal
Look for the in-game blog for tonight's game!