Preview: Florida at Pittsburgh

When: 7:00 PM  ET, Saturday, December 20, 2014
Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Matchup Edge
FLA Edge in: PIT
Offense
Defense
Power Play
Penalty Kill
Face Offs
Discipline
Goaltending



The Florida Panthers keep finding ways to collect points and hope to continue that trend when they visit the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday in the opener of a home-and-home series. The Panthers won their second straight 2-1 shootout - the first in a league-record 20 rounds - and are 7-2-2 in their last 11, with 10 decided by one goal. "We just want to keep it going," goaltender Roberto Luongo said. "These points before Christmas are huge for our club."

Captain Sidney Crosby returned to the lineup Thursday following a three-game absence due to the mumps as the Penguins edged Colorado 1-0 in overtime. Goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Thomas Greiss as well as defenseman Robert Bortuzzo also were tested for the malady and came back negative, but blue-liner Olli Maatta - already sidelined by a shoulder injury - tested positive for the mumps. Pittsburgh hasn't won three in a row since Nov. 14-18.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, ROOT (Pittsburgh)

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (14-8-8): Florida has played a league-high 13 games that have gone beyond regulation and is 3-0-1 in its last four contests, with Luongo in net for three shootout victories to give him his longest winning streak since a five-game run with Vancouver in December 2013. "We have a lot of confidence any time with Luongo in net," said Dave Bolland, who scored the decisive tally in Thursday's 2-1 victory over Philadelphia. "He's the backbone of our team." The Panthers have earned a point in 13 of the last 17 road games.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (21-6-4): After receiving a clean bill of health, Fleury went out and made 29 saves to register his 34th career shutout and league-leading sixth of the season - one shy of Tom Barrasso's franchise mark for a campaign. “The way we’re playing (defensively), we’re not giving other teams too much,” Fleury said. “It’s been making my job a little easier.” Although Pittsburgh unleashed a season-high 48 shots against Colorado, it continues to struggle on the power play - failing on both chances to fall to 2-for-29 over the past 10 games.

OVERTIME

1. Penguins F Evgeni Malkin has three goals and five assists during a six-game point streak.

2. Luongo needs one victory to surpass Mike Vernon (385) for 12th place on the all-time wins list.

3. The teams have split the past six meetings, with Florida scoring 17 goals in its three victories.

PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Panthers 2

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Florida 14-8-4-4 W2 7-4-0-2 7-4-4-2 1-1-0-0 13-7-4-4 5-1-3-0
Pittsburgh 21-6-2-2 W2 12-4-0-1 9-2-2-1 1-0-0-0 20-6-2-2 5-4-1-2

Last Meeting

Florida Pittsburgh
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
1/20/14 FLA 5 PIT 1 28 35 0-3 36 23 0-3

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
FLA J. Winchester 3
PIT K. Letang 1
Goals Player  
FLA D. Shore 2
PIT M. Niskanen 1
Assists Player  
FLA J. Winchester 3
PIT K. Letang 1
Saves Player  
FLA S. Clemmensen 35
PIT M. Fleury 23
Season
Total Points Player  
FLA N. Bjugstad 19
PIT E. Malkin 38
Goals Player  
FLA N. Bjugstad 12
PIT E. Malkin 15
Assists Player  
FLA A. Ekblad 13
PIT S. Crosby 26
Saves Player  
FLA R. Luongo 653
PIT M. Fleury 647

Quickchart Matchup

Florida Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
2.13 GF
2.23 GA
30.8 Shots
29.7 Shots
12 PP
16 PK
Pittsburgh Off vs  Florida Def
3.13 GF
2.4 GA
31 Shots
30.3 Shots
26 PP
20 PK

Live Game Odds

Lines History | All Odds
Home Away over/under
OPEN -219 196
118
5.5
Offshore Odds
CarbonSports -220 185
115
5.5
Sportsbook -220 185
115
5.5
5Dimes.eu -205
188
124
5.5
GTBets.eu -215 185
120
5.5
Top Bet -210 175
115
5.5
BetOnline.ag
-204
183
125
5.5
BetDSI -215 180
120
5.5
AllYouBet.ag OFF OFF OFF
BetDNA.com -227 175
116
5.5
Belmont -220 185
115
5.5
BookMaker.eu -215 180
120
5.5
Vegas Odds
Westgate -205 185
-135
5.5
Mirage OFF OFF OFF
Station OFF OFF OFF
Best home line Best road line Recent line moves

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Florida Overall Pittsburgh
14-8-4-4 W/L 21-6-2-2
17-13 ATS 14-17
10-15 O/U 13-18
2.13 Goals For 3.13
2.40 Goals Agnst 2.23
Florida A/H Pittsburgh
7-4-4-2 W/L 12-4-0-1
12-5 ATS 7-10
6-9 O/U 7-10
2.12 Goals For 3.18
2.47 Goals Agnst 2.18