Game 9: Canucks @ Penguins (10.19.13)
The Canucks, for their part, are on a roll as well having started their road swing with two consecutive wins. They had an especially strong performance in Buffalo two nights ago and they'll need a repeat of that if they want to take down one of the top teams in the league so far in the Penguins, who have won six of seven games to start their season.
Pittsburgh has been led in large part by their goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, who has won all six games he has started to date while posting a 1.67 GAA and .932 save percentage. He's a good bet to get the call this afternoon to go up against his 2010 Olympic teammate Roberto Luongo. The Canucks will get defenceman Alexander Edler back tonight after he sat out the last three games due to suspension. The Pens have managed to have success despite being without James Neal and Kris Letang for essentially the entire season to date. Both are expected to be out again for today's tilt.
Puck drop at 10 am PT - Live on Sportsnet Pacific, The TEAM 1040, or online at teamradio.ca.
Keys to the Game
Slow down Sid. The Penguins' captain is off to a sizzling start recording at least one point in all seven games he's played in and leading the team with 14 points. The Canucks would love to shut him down completely but, at the very least, they need find a way to limit the damage he does.
Keep testing Fleury. Penguins' goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has been on fire to start the season but he does have a history of giving up some soft goals. If the Canucks throw everything on net, they might end up being fortunate and catch Fleury on a day where he's not stopping everything he sees.
Start strong. The Canucks proved on Thursday they can get off to a good start so the Pens will want to make sure they're the ones that takes over the early momentum. When you consider the fact they're a perfect 5-0 in games where they open the scoring, getting off to a strong start is even more critical.
By the Numbers
Games played by Sidney Crosby in his career so far against the Canucks. He has two goals in those five games.
Years since the Canucks' last win Pittsburgh – a 3-1 win on Nov. 22, 2008. They have played once there since.
Game personal win streak for Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. His career-high to start a season is 8.
Game point streak for Sidney Crosby. He has recorded in every single game played this season to date.
Minutes and 50 seconds of consecutive shutout time for Roberto Luongo coming into today's game.
Career games played in for Brad Richardson after today when he suits up against the Penguins.