NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

NHL Pre-Game Notes: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Florida Panthers

Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins (13-6-0, 26 points) and the Florida Panthers (5-9-4, 18 points) will be televised locally on ROOT Sports – Pittsburgh. Face off is set for 7:30 pm (est) at the BB&T Center.

The Penguins signed defenseman, Mark Eaton, yesterday to a one-year deal.  By the looks of the lines from this morning’s skate, it doesn’t look as if Eaton will be in tonight’s lineup against the Panthers.  He may end up being more of an insurance policy rather than a role player for right now.

The projected line combinations based on this morning’s skate are as follows:

POWER PLAY UNITS: First unit consists of Kris Letang-Paul Martin, James Neal-Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby and the second unit was made up of (based on practice the other day) Matt Niskanen-Dustin Jeffrey/Simon Despres, Beau Bennett-Brandon Sutter-Tyler Kennedy;

FORWARDS: Kunitz-Crosby-Neal, Matt Cooke-Sutter-Pascal Dupuis, Bennett-Jeffrey-Kennedy, Tanner Glass-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams (Zach Boychuk);

DEFENSEMEN: Brooks Orpik-Martin, Niskanen-Letang, Despres-Deryk Engelland, Mark Eaton-Robert Bortuzzo. The starting goalie in net for the Penguins tonight is Tomas Vokoun.

The Panthers will be without a lot of players due to injury tonight:  left wing Scottie Upshall (lower body injury); defensemen Michael Caruso (upper body injury) and Ed Jovanovski (lower body injury); and right wing Kris Versteeg (upper body injury).  Stephen Weiss is out of the lineup tonight due to the death of his grandmother. Jose Theodore is the projected starting net minder for Florida tonight.

Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her Facebook page, or add her to your Google+ circle.