The Battle of Playoff Contention
The Pittsburgh Penguins roll into Toronto with knowledge that they are facing a battle. The Leafs are in a do-or-die situation with Tampa just one point away from them, and two games left to play they know they can’t afford to drop the loss to Pittsburgh. Phil Kessel and the Penguins are looking to fall into playoff form, with Evgeni Malkin and Olli Maatta close to coming back they look to gel with players coming back from injury like Trevor Daley. Goaltender Tristan Jarry has been called up since the Penguins face back to back games, however, Fleury will start tonight with the Leafs being desperate for the win. The other recalled Penguin is forward Kevin Porter from WBS.
Pittsburgh Penguins Coach Sullivan preferred to leave his line-up changes as a game-time decision; however, he did note that he would be resting some guys. This does not include Sidney Crosby, many whom speculated the Captain would sit these last two games were stifled when Sullivan confirmed that Crosby was indeed playing in Toronto tonight.
– Sidney Crosby (43) and Auston Matthews (39-t) rank No. 1 and 2 respectively in the NHL goal-scoring race.
-Toronto holds the last wild-card spot and needs one point to clinch their ticket to the postseason.
-Phil Kessel is a Stanley Cup Champion.
The Penguins lines looked as follows:
*Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal
Dumoulin on tonight’s game against Toronto: “We still want to play our best hockey. It’s more for us to be doing the right things, playing well going into the First Round series. These games aren’t for nothing. Every game is important. Even though they don’t matter standings-wise, they do matter personally.”