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A preview of the Panthers.
When and where: 7:30 p.m, EST, BB&T Center.
TV: Root Sports, Fox Sports Florida, SportsNet, TVA.
Record: 14-9-8, 36 points. The Panthers are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division.
Leading Scorer: Center Nick Bjugstad, 19 points (12 goals, 7 assists).
Last Game: 3-1 road loss to the Penguins Saturday. Goaltender Roberto Luongo (right) made 31 saves for the Panthers.
Last Game against the Penguins: Ditto.
Panthers Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Center Vince Trocheck. He scored the Panthers' only goal Saturday.
Ex-Penguins on the Panthers: Left winger Jussi Jokinen, professional scout Peter Mahovlich, general manager Dale Tallon.
Ex-Panthers on the Penguins: Assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald, center Marcel Goc, senior advisor of hockey operations Jacques Martin, co-director of amateur scouting Randy Sexton.
Useless Panthers Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Luongo and defenseman Brian Campbell are two of 15 players selected in the 1997 draft held in Pittsburgh who are currently members of the Panthers.
The last time the Panthers played the Penguins, this happened:
Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (19-4-2, 1.97 GAA, .933 SV%) for the Penguins. Roberto Luongo (12-7-6, 2.28 GAA, .926 SV%) for the Panthers.
Injuries: For the Penguins, right winger Steve Downie (illness), goaltender Thomas Greiss (illness) and center Brandon Sutter (illness) are out. Right winger Craig Adams (undisclosed) is out. Right wingers Craig Adams (undisclosed), Beau Bennett (knee), Pascal Dupuis (blood clot), defensemen Robert Bortuzzo ("upper body"), Christian Ehrhoff ("lower body"), Olli Maatta ("upper body"), Paul Martin (undisclosed) centers Zach Sill ("upper body") and Scott Wilson (leg) are on injured reserve. For the Panthers, left winger Shawn Thornton ("lower body") is on injured reserve.
Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins have a full crew of players at today's morning skate. Consider this a guess at their lines and defensive pairings:
14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 72 Patric Hornqvist
20 Rob Klinkhammer - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 17 Blake Comeau
13 Nick Spaling - 57 Marcel Goc - 36 Bryan Rust
34 Bobby Farnham - 25 Andrew Ebbett - 44 Taylor Chorney
10 Scott Harrington - 58 Kris Letang
8 Brian Dumoulin - 47 Simon Despres
51 Derrick Pouliot - 4 Rob Scuderi
-The Panthers expected lines and defensive pairings are:
11 Jonathan Huberdeau – 27 Nick Bjugstad – 21 Vincent Trocheck
20 Sean Bergenheim – 16 Aleksander Barkov – 73 Brandon Pirri
36 Jussi Jokinen – 63 Dave Bolland – 12 Jimmy Hayes
82 Tomas Kopecky – 17 Derek MacKenzie – 19 Scottie Upshall
51 Brian Campbell – 5 Aaron Ekblad
33 Willie Mitchell – 7 Dmitry Kulikov
44 Erik Gudbranson – 4 Dylan Olsen
-Downie, Sutter and Greiss returned to Pittsburgh to be tested for mumps.
-Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
-Defenseman Taylor Chorney, the son of former Penguins defenseman Marc Chorney, could make his Penguins debut.
-The Penguins will use 11 forwards and seven defensemen with the seventh defenseman serving as a forward.
-Center Nick Spaling has 98 career points.
-The referees are Brad Watson (No. 23) and Kyle Rehman (No. 37). The linesmen are Pierre Racicot (No. 65) and Shandor Alphonso (No. 52).
-Our live blog begins at approximately 7:15 p.m. Please tune in.
-We will not be holding a live blog tonight but will have a post game blog. Our apologies.
(Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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A Christmas gift suggestion for Mayor Bill Peduto: a chainsaw.
Or maybe some lessons on using one.
As part of his stint on the CBS program "Undercover Boss," Mr. Peduto struggled with handling a chainsaw, hanging a door and working on a city sanitation crew. In fact, his blue-collar skills were rough enough that most of...
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In case you missed it: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's music director, Manfred Honeck, will be conducting at the Papal Christmas Eve Mass on Wednesday. According to the PSO, a live broadcast of the event starts at 3:20 p.m. EST. You can check it out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTCU9qgzHi0
Happy holidays to all!
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Good tools will last a lifetime or even longer. The stainless steel potting scoop from Joseph Bentley Tools is great for moving planting mix. The business end is made of polished stainless steel and the handle is contoured oak. It’s perfectly sized, filling a 6-inch pot with one scoop. $15.99 and available at independent garden centers, Home Depot and through Amazon.
Dramm’s Touch ’N Flow Pro Rain Wand makes watering easy. A soft stream of water won’t overwhelm plants and it has a lifetime warranty. The Rain Wand comes in three lengths: 16, 30 and 36 inches. From $20 to $28 at independent garden centers and hardware stores and through Amazon. www.rainwand.com.
My son gave me a Plant Nanny last Christmas and I love it. It’s a terra cotta watering stake that uses recycled wine bottles to water your plants. The bottle is filled with water and just dropped into the Plant Nanny. It will slowly release the water into the pot. Great if you’re out of town and can’t get anyone to water your precious houseplants. A set of four is under $20. Locate a retailer at www.plantnannyinc.com.
If you know an adventurous gardener who likes to cook, let them try growing mushrooms indoors. The Shiitake Mushroom Kit is $19.95 and comes with two small logs inoculated with mushroom spores. They will grow just about anywhere inside. Available from Gourmet Mushrooms at www.gmushrooms.org.
Radius Garden Tools are all built with ergonomic handles and are virtually indestructible. Their PRO Edger has a sharp stainless-steel blade, is lightweight, balanced and offers a durable encased steel core shaft. For about $50, it’s a steal. Radius products are available at garden centers and online at www.radius.gostorego.com.
Just about every garden center or nursery carries bulbs for indoor growing (called forcing). Paperwhites are small, easy-to-grow, fragrant daffodils. Be careful though, not everyone likes their aroma. Hyacinths will fill a room with their magical perfume. The queen of holiday bulbs is amaryllis. Its giant flowers are spectacular in shades of red, pink and white. Bulbs can be purchased ready to go in pots, or alone for a gardener to plant. One word of caution about amaryllis, they are poisonous to cats and dogs. It's cats that seem most interested in them, so be careful.
Cole’s Wild Bird Feed offers some of the best seed and other products to keep birds happy in the winter. Once they find the seed, and you keep the feeder full, they will use the area on their foraging routes this spring. Hot Meats are seeds covered with a hot pepper concoction that the squirrels detest, but the birds can’t taste. The Blue Ribbon Blend is a real treat for the birds, filled with a mixture of their favorites. Find the products locally by searching at www.coleswildbird.com.
George Wiegel’s “Pennsylvania Getting Started Garden Guide” (Cool Springs Press, $24.95) is great for both beginning and experienced gardeners. It’s filled with great regional information about growing just about anything. It’s the perfect book to enjoy by the fire planning for next year’s garden.