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A familiar finish and final farewell

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The darkness and cold wind that descended on a half-empty Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday night provided a proper conclusion to a forgettable 2013 season.

With only pride left to play for, West Virginia had collapsed again, closing the book on the season with a whimper, a 52-44 double-overtime defeat to Iowa State.

A common refrain this fall, the Mountaineers just didn’t finish.

West Virginia (4-8, 2-7 Big 12) had nursed a double-digit lead for most of the game before allowing the Cyclones (3-9, 2-7 Big 12) to tie things up, 38-38, with a minute remaining in regulation.

Both sides settled for field goals in overtime and double overtime, but Iowa State quarterback Grant Rohach opened the third overtime session with a 25-yard strike to receiver Justin Coleman. West Virginia would reach the 2-yard line but was unable to find the end zone to tie the game one last time.

This was a Cyclone team that didn’t get its first conference win until last Saturday, and that against Big 12 bottom feeder Kansas.

Redshirt senior running back Charles Sims rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns against the Cyclones, and with a 76-yard touchdown run in the second quarter he became West Virginia’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Noel Devine in 2009.

Given the starting nod at game time, redshirt junior quarterback Clint Trickett had a field day early against the battered Iowa State defense, completing 20 of 36 passes for 353 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw a crucial interception in the final two minutes that allowed Iowa State to complete its comeback.

Junior receiver Mario Alford had eight catches for 215 yards and a touchdown.

It was nothing more than a glorified consolation match, of course. Both teams had been eliminated from bowl contention weeks ago.

The Mountaineers hit the ground running with what appeared to portend a workmanlike dismantling of visiting Iowa State. They held leads of 17-7, 31-7 and 38-21.

West Virginia took a 17-0 first-quarter lead after a 6-yard Sims touchdown run and a 38-yard scoop-and-score touchdown by sophomore safety Karl Joseph after Cyclone running back Aaron Wimberly had fumbled.

Rohach got the Cyclones on the scoreboard with a 53-yard quarterback keeper, but Trickett answered with a four-play, 91-yard drive that was capped by a 17-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Kevin White.

Sims followed by scampering 76 yards, untouched, for his 11th touchdown of the season, and West Virginia took a 31-14 lead into halftime.

After the first-half offensive fireworks, things went quiet for most of the second half.

Iowa State scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a 62-yard strike to Quenton Bundrage, who had two scores on the night. Sandwiched between the Cyclone scores was a 76-yard pitch-and-catch from Trickett to Alford.

The Cyclones scored the last 17 points of regulation, completing their comeback with a 19-yard slant from Rohach to Coleman in the final minute to send the game into overtime.

Rohach and Coleman would connect again in triple overtime to plunge the final dagger in West Virginia’s season.


Stephen J. Nesbitt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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Central Catholic, South Fayette roll to easy wins

Written by Mike White on .

Two more WPIAL football champions advanced to the PIAA semifinals with easy quarterfinal wins today.

Central Catholic crushed McDowell, 48-7, in a Class AAAA quarterfinal game in Erie. Meanwhile, after trailing in the second quarter, South Fayette came on to crush Karns City, 57-21, at Clarion in a Class AA game.

Central Catholic got another outstanding performance from its defense, holding McDowell to 64 yards offense. McDowell had only 25 yards rushing.

In the other game, South Fayette trailed Karns City, 21-15, in the second quarter before scoring the final 41 points of the game. Brett Brumbaugh had a big day for South Fayette again, throwing for 340 yards.

See tomorrow's Post-Gazette for more on both games.

The WPIAL will have three teams in the semifinals. The other is Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

 

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Penguins at Panthers - 11-30-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

-Tonight is another step in the evaluation process of Jeff Zatkoff. The Penguins are expected to start Zatkoff after Marc-Andre Fleury recorded a shutout last night. Zatkoff is returning to the scene of his first NHL start. he did not preform well as the Panthers won, 6-3, Oct. 11. His mental toughness will be tested as he faces a team which lit him up. Tonight's result could go a long way towards the Penguins' plans with him and the backup goaltending role.

-The Penguins are expected to face goaltender Tim Thomas tonight. It's been a long time since Thomas faced the Penguins. He was chased after making seven saves on 10 shots for the Bruins in a 5-2 Penguins win at Consol Energy Center, March 11, 2012. Evgeni Malkin recorded his 500th career point in that game.

-Thomas has a fairly good history against the Penguins. In 18 games, he has a 8-6-4 record, a 2.72 goals against average, .938 save percentage and one shutout.

-He's not quite the franchise goaltender he was in his last few seasons with Boston. (It's amazing how much mortal a goaltender can become when Zdeno Chara isn't in front of him). That said, Thomas is probably still one of the 10 or 15 best goaltenders in the NHL. He gives an undermanned Panthers team a chance in every game.

-Thomas has sort of moved his way into the conversation for the United States Olympic team, thanks in part to an injury to Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. That said, unless the likes of Jimmy Howard or Ryan Miller get injured, we have a hard time seeing Thomas going to Sochi.

-Regarding Evgeni Malkin and his penalty for an equipment violation yesterday, Dan Byslma addressed it with the media prior to the game:

-It's been popular for the past week to question while Robert Bortuzzo is a healthy scratch at the expense of Deryk Engelland. Frankly, we've wondered about it ourselves. That said, Engelland hasn't done anything in the past week which would merit a healthy scratch himself. He's been one of the team's more consistent performers the past week or so, albeit in a much lesser role than the likes of Kris Letang or Brooks Orpik. We think Bortuzzo is better than Engelland ourselves, but Engelland has not given the coaches a reason to scratch him in recent games.

-The Penguins' starters are Jussi Jokinen, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Deryk Engelland, Brooks Orpik and Jeff Zatkoff.

-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo and Zach Sill.

-The Panthers' starters are Nick Bjugstad, Jonathan Huberdeau, Scottie Upshall, and Tim Thomas.

-Their scratches are xxxx.

FIRST PERIOD

19:15: Corralling a puck at the left point, Campbell whips a wrister on net. Zatkoff eats it up.

19:03: Off a feed from behind the cage by Tomas Fleischmann, Tom Gilbert whacks a one-timer form the right circle. It hits a stick and deflects away.

18:50: After blocking a slapper by Fleischmann in the slot, Letang hobbles to the bench in discomfort.

18:10: Mike Weaver flings a wrister from the right point. Zatkoff snags it.

17:40: According to Root Sports broadcaster, NHL official Craig Adams received a game misconduct penalty after last night's game after he complained to on-ice official Tim Peel in regards to Malkin's uniform violation penalty. According to Steigerwald, Lightning forward Alex Killorn was given a warning for a uniform violation like Malkin was. Later, Peel adjusted Killorn's jersey while Malkin received a minor for his violation.

17:45: A wrister by Scott Gomez in the right circle, Orpik blocks it.

15:55: A slapper by Marcel Goc is gloved by Zatkoff.

15:02: The Panthers are controlling things early. Dylan Olsen collects a puck on the right wing and flings a wrister from the half wall. Zatkoff fights it off.

12:13: Dmitry Kulikov weaves in off the left wing and flings a backhander from the slot. Engelland slides down to block it. Brad Boyes has a chance with the rebound to the left of the cage. Zatkoff is sliding into the net but is able to punch it away with his blocker.

11:50: The Penguins are called for too many men on the ice. Jokinen will serve the minor. Adams, Pascal Dupuis,  Orpik and Letang will take the ice.

11:02: Stealing a pass in his slot, Dupuis backhands a puck down ice. A line change brings Brandon Sutter, Andrew Ebbett, Deryk Engelland and Simon Despres.

9:49: As the Penguins' bench minor, Kulikov tripped up Dupuis. That's two minutes. Sidney Crosby, Neal, Malkin, Letang and Chris Kunitz take the ice.

9:39: A one-timer by Crosby from the right circle is blocked by Erik Gudbranson.

9:15: Thomas tries to play a puck from behind his net to Weaver in the left wing corner. Malkin steal it and flings it immediately to the blue paint. Neal jabs it by a scrambling Thomas. The puck skids to the slot where Kunitz fans partially ont he shot but gets enough to direct it into the open cage as Thomas swims in his blue paint. The Penguins got a bit lucky on that play but earned that goal with some hard work by Malkin. Neal and Malkin get assists. Penguins 1-0.

8:43: Engelland whacks a puck from the right half wall. It hits a body or two in front of the blue paint and hops up. The great Joe Vitale is able to get a piece of it and force it over the red line by a scrambling thomas. Weaver sweeps it out just as officials blow play dead. A goal is the call on the ice. A video review confirms the goal. Vitale gets credit for the goal. It's his first goal in forever (32 games). Jayson Megna and Deryk Engelland get assists. Penguins 2-0.

8:11: Shawn Matthias snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Zatkoff steers it away.

8:02: Kunitz challenges Olsen with the puck up the left wing. Olsen pokes it off his stick then gives Kunitz a good thump into the end boards.

7:16: A one-timer by Olli Maatta from the left point is blocked in front.

6:20: Collecting a puck at the left point, Olsen booms a slapper. Zatkoff fights it off despite traffic.

6:19: Another power play for the Panthers. Malkin is called for hooking Upshall.  in the Penguins' left wing corner. Orpik, Letang, Sutter and Adams take the ice.

5:01: Dupuis whips a loose puck from the left circle down ice for a clear.

4:19: The Malkin minor is killed with little threat from the Panthers' power play.

3:59: Off a backhanded feed by Crosby, Kunitz lifts a wrister from the left circle. Thomas traps it against his chest.

3:38: Weaver flings a wrister from the left point. It hits a body in front. Sean Bergenheims whips the rebound back on net with a backhander. Zatkoff kicks it out. Tough save.

3:02: Another penalty for the Penguins. Crosby slashed the stick of Gilbert. It's actually an interference minor. Sutter, Adams, Orpik and Letang take the ice.

2:36: From center point, Campbell deals a pass to Fleischmann on the right half wall. Fleischmann whacks a one-timer which Zatkoff fights off.

1:59: Campbell whacks a slapper from above the left circle which is blocked.

1:40: Aleksander Barkov snaps off a wrister from the right circle which Zatkoff fights off despite traffic.

1:02: The Crosby minor expires. The Panthers tried to generate chances from the perimeter but the Penguins clogged up the shooting and passing lanes.

0:35: A one-timer by Niskanen from the left point is blocked.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Panthers 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

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-What a start for Zatkoff. He was tested quite a bit that period, especially early on and stood tall. While he did fight the puck a bit, he kicked out a several safe rebounds.

-Granted, the Panthers have an awful power play, but the Penguins' penalty kill came up big in that period. The Panthers tried to generate a bunch of chances from the outside but the Penguins limited their chances in tight.

-More of the same from Simon Despres. Confident and composed. He had 2:39 of penalty kill time that period.

-The Panthers have a 15-6 lead in shots.

-The Panthers have a 24-15 lead in attempted shots.

-Engelland, Kunitz, Olsen, Fleischmann, Bjustad and Goc each lead the game with two shots.

-Campbell leads the game with 9:46 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 8:14.

-The Penguins have a 9-6 lead in faceoffs (60 percent).

-Malkin was 3 for 3 (100 percent).

-Gomez was 2 for 3 (67 percent).

-Gudbrandon leads the game with three blocked shots.

-Letang leads the Penguins with two blocked shots.

SECOND PERIOD

18:37: A wrister by Crosby from the right circle is wide of the cage.

17:39: Off a cross-ice feed by Campbell, Gilbert pumps a one-timer from the left point. Zatkoff fights it off.

15:30: Off a slick zone entry, Boyes lifts a wrister from the high slot. Zatkoff gloves it.

15:15: Gilbert flings a wrister from the right point. It hits a body in front.

14:13: A slapper by Orpik from the left point is blocked.

13:30: Collecting a puck at the left point is blocked wide.

12:55: Stealing a puck in the defensive zone, Despres deals a pass to Conner on the right wing. Conner motors up the boards and deals a pass to Ebbett on the right wing. The timing is a bit off and Ebbett misses the puck then crashes into the boards.

12:37: Taking a little pass from Letang in his own zone, Malkin lugs the puck up ice through the neutral zone. He deals a little pass to Maatta on the left wing. Maatta gains the offensive zone and deals it back to Malkin in the left circle. Malkin attacks the net, flips the puck this backhand and tucks it by the left skate of a jammed up Thomas. That wasn't a great goal for anyone in a red jersey to allow. Maatta and Letang get assists. Penguins 3-0.

10:48: Off a rush by Crosby, Dupuis takes a drop pass on the right  half wall and whacks a slapper on net. Thomas kicks it out. Crosby is there for the rebound but the puck hops over his stick.

9:45: The Panthers get the puck in deep, outwork the Penguins and get on the scoreboard... or do they? Boyes chips the puck up the right wing wall to the end boards. Barkov (6-foot-3, 209 pounds) uses his size to win a puck battle from Niskanen (6-foot-0, 209 pounds) and Malkin (6-foot-3, 195 pounds). Then Barkov is able to chip a pass to Bergenheim who then tries to tuck a backhander into the blue paint. It hits off Boyes' skate and hops into the cage. Officials go to video review and after a lengthy delay, they overturn the goal call. The rule Boyes kicked the puck. That was a tough one to judge.

8:34: Goc races into the offensive one with speed and whacks a slapper which hits a stick and deflects out of play.

7:34: Campbell tries to play a puck from the left point to the slot. Despres intercepts the puck and plays it up ice.

7:05: The great Joe Vitale chips a puck from the left circle. Thomas knocks it dead and covers.

6:21: On a two-on-two rush, Conner chips a puck from the right wing towards Crosby in the slot. The puck hops up and misses Crosby.

5:49: Barkov has a chance in tight but Zatkoff knocks it dead and covers.

5:25: Jesse Winchester flings a wrister from the right wing. Zatkoff eats it up.

4:29: After an icing call, the Penguins call a timeout to get a breather.

4:16: Boyes and Matthias each have a chance in tight but can't beat Zatkoff.

3:19: Another penalty for the Penguins. Kunitz is nabbed for hooking Bjugstad. Sutter, Adams, Orpik and Letang take the ice.

2:25: Fleischmann flings a wrister from center point. It hits a body in front. Dupuis settles the rebound and flings it down ice.

2:07: Taking a neutral zone pass from Campbell, Jonathan Huberdeau gains the offensive zone at center point and tucks a little backhand pass to Upshall streaking up the left wing. Upshall gets a step on Sutter, goes from his forehand to his backhand and tucks a nifty shot by the blocker of Zatkoff on the near side. What an effort by Upshall. Hudberdeal and Campbell get assists. Penguins 3-1.

1:38: The Penguins get it right back. After Neal forces a turnover by Olsen in the neutral zone, Malkin controls the puck along the Florida' end boards. Fighting off Gudbranson, Malkin is able to sneak a backhanded pass to Neal in the right circle. Neal leans down and snaps off a one-timer by the glove hand of a falling Thomas. What a wonderful effort by Malkin who gets the only assist. Penguins 4-1.

0:24: Malkin is centering Ebbett and Conner. Conner deals a pass to Malkin behind the cage. Malkin deals a pass to Ebbett above the blue paint. Ebbett jabs a quick shot which Thomas gets a piece of miraculously.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Panthers 1.

SECOND INTERMISSION

 

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-With an early lead the Penguins have adopted a defensive mentality in this game. They are sitting back and allowing the Panthers to bring the attack. With the Panthers not having a great deal of offensive skill, they can only generate so many goals.

-The Penguins' offense is coming from mistakes or turnovers by the Panthers. When the Panthers do make an error, the Penguins are attacking.

-Zatkoff continues to look strong. He has faced plenty of quality scoring chances and has turned away nearly every one of them.

-Malkin continues to carry the offense for the Penguins. He has created so many things as of late on offense.

-The Panthers have a 24-13 lead in shots on net.

-The Panthers have a 41-28 lead in attempted shots.

-Enegelland and Olsen each lead the game with three shots.

-Campbell leads the game with 21:54 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 16:31.

-Faceoffs are even, 20-20 (50 percent).

-Malkin is 7 for 9 (78 percent).

-Barkov is 6 for 10 (60 percent).

-Gudbranson leads the game with four blocked shots.

-Letang leads the Penguins with three blocked shots.

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: The Panthers show some mercy by pulling Thomas in favor of Scott Clemmensen.

18:44: Off a turnover by Letang in his own right wing corner, Fleischmann rips a quick wrister from the right circle. Zatkoff fights it off. Letang owes Zatkoff a beer.

17:15: Engelland goes in deep on the right wing and chips a wrister on net. Clemmensen kicks it out.

16:33: Despres puts a stiff check into big Jim Hayes (6-foot-6, 221 pounds) on the Penguins' end boards.

16:12: Barkov lifts a wrister from the high slot. Zatkoff fights it off. Bergenheim collects the rebound on the left wing and flings it on net. Zatkoff eats it up.

14:07: Kulikov chucks a shot on net from the left point Zatkoff fights it off.

13:50: More offense created by Malkin. Kulikov controls the puck in his own left circle. Malkin forechecks him and forces him to fan on a pass attempt. Malkin takes the puck and deals to Jokinen positioned in the slot. Jokinen grips and rips a wrister by the glove hand of a stunned Clemmensen. What a play by Malkin. Malkin gets the only assist. Penguins 5-1.

11:36: Ebbett pushes the puck up the left wing and is shoved to the ice by Gudbranson.

10:50: Pushing a puck up the left wing, Malkin gains the offensive zone and deals a cross-ice pass to Neal on the right wing. Neal sweeps a one-timer wide of the cage.

9:16: Zatkoff snags a wrister by Gudbranson.

8:24: Dupuis motor up the right wing, gains the offensive zone and cuts across the slot to the left wing. Dupuis lifts a wrister which Clemmensen fights off.

8:12: Hayes weaves his way up ice through the neutral zone. He flips a backhander from the left circle. Zaktoff challenges the shot and kicks it out. Gomez follows up on the rebound and has it blocked by Conner who flops down and has the puck clank off his helmet. Ouch. Conner appears fine.

6:00ish: Root Sports shows a dent in Conner's lid which lost a penguins logo from the Gomez shot:

5:28: Letang has a wrister in the slot blocked by Barkov. Letang recovers the rebound and puts it on net. Clemmensen smothers it. Letang crashes in digging for a rebound. Gibutranson takes issue and knocks off Letang's helmet.

4:50: After Zatkoff turns a puck over from behidn the net, Fleischmann whips a quick wrister from the left wing. Zatkoff smothers it.

4:11: Bjugstad tries to jam in a forehand shot from the left of the net. Zatkoff fights it off.

3:06: With Letang pinching in deep, the Panthers generate a three-on-one against Maatta. Matthias deals a pass from the left wing to Gomez on the right wing. Gomez rips a wrister too the far side. Zatkoff makes the intial save. Hayes tries to jab in the rebound but Zatkoff's right skate holds it out.

2:15: Crosby chops a loose puck from the right wing to the the net. It hits a stick and bounces away.

0:49: Malkin flings a wrister from the left circle wide to the far side.

0:12: A slapper by Kulikov from the right point is blocked.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 5, Panthers 1.

POSTGAME

-The only thing we can really take away from this this game is that the Penguins are a much more talented team than the Panthers. The Penguins earn an easy two points in a game they should have. They squashed a poor Panthers team and didn't really have to extend themselves a great deal in doing so.

-What a big moment for Jeff Zatkoff. He returned to the scene of his NHL debut - a nightmare of a game - and earned a calm, confident win. While the Panthers didn't offer many quality scoring chances, but they did put a ton of shots on net. Zatkoff didn't fight the puck much and he kicked out a lot of safe rebounds. He earned this win.

-Newsflash: Evgeni Malkin is still pretty good. He tilted the ice anytime he was on the ice. Skating through the Panthers defense most of the night, Malkin was the most dominant player on the ice.

-The start of the game was key. The Panthers came out aggressively and put a ton of shots on net. Zatkoff turned them away and allowed his team to scrape out a few goals later in the period. After that, this was the Penguins' game the rest of the way.

-It's amazing that this is the same team which looked like a complete mess against the Maple Leafs Wednesday. Like last night against the Lightning, the Penguins played a pretty discipline game tonight and limited their turnovers and the quality scoring chances of the Panthers.

-For the first month and half of the season, Sidney Crosby carried the offense and drew the tougher defensive assignments from opponents. With Malkin carrying the offense now, will teams focus on his line now?

-Special teams were big for the Penguins. They scored on their only power play and went 3 for 4 on the penalty kill. The Panthers had a few power plays in the first period and couldn't match the Penguins offense in that opening 20 minutes.

-The special teams have been key in recent games:

-Simon Despres continued to show he belongs at this level. He had yet another composed, confident and error-free game. His contract status would be the only reason he would return to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton if the Penguins get a few bodies healthy on the blue line.

-A few errors still popped up in Kris Letang's game. He had a turnover early in the third period and later left Olli Maatta out to dry on a three-on-one by the Panthers. We don't know what to say about this guy at this point.

-The Penguins' third line had another solid but hardly spectacular game. They created a few things with speed but didn't have the ability to finish chances.

-Chris Kuntiz just keeps scoring goals. He's been tuned in since the start of the season. He's been the team's most consistent goal scorer through two months.

-Deryk Engelland had another nice effort. He didn't make any errors we could identify and even showed a few things offensively.

-How bad did Tim Thomas look? He's always been willing to play a scrambling style but he was out of position badly on more than a few occasions. He didn't do his team any favors. If Thomas was hoping to make a case for the United States Olympic team in front of Dan Bylsma, he failed.

-The Panthers didn't quit. That's probably the best thing we could say about them in this game. They went hard from the start of the game to the finish. They just don't have that much talent.

-The Panthers had a 40-22 lead in shots on net.

-The Panthers led in attempted shots, 68-57.

-Deryk Engelland and Jimmy Hayes each led the game with four shots.

-Every Panthers skater recorded a shot on net.

-Brian Campbell led the game with 29:51 of ice time.

-Letang led the Penguins with 23:09.

-The Penguins led in faceoffs, 33-28 (54 percent).

-Malkin was 10 for 14 (71 percent).

-Barkov was 9 for 15 (60 percent).

-Erik Gudbrandon led the game with four blocked shots.

-Letang and Despres each led the game with three blocked shots.

-Crosby (36 points) now has a one-point lead over Malkin (35 points) in the league scoring race.

-Malkin now has 595 career points.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

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About the Panthers - 11-30-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Panthers.

When and where: 7 p.m. EST. BB&T Center.

TV: Root Sports, Fox Sports Florida.

Record: 7-14-5, 19 points. The Panthers are in seventh place in the Atlantic Division.

Leading Scorer: Brad Boyes, 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists).

Last Game: 5-2 home loss to the Rangers, Wednesday. Tim Thomas (right) made 17 saves for the Panthers.

Last Game against the Penguins: 6-3 home win, Oct. 11. Boyes had two goals and an assist for the Panthers.

Panthers Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Tomas Fleischmann. He has 20 points in 21 career games against the Penguins.

Ex-Penguins on the Panthers: Dale Tallon, general manager.

Ex-Panthers on the Penguins: Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager; Tanner Glass, LW; Jacques Martin, assistant coach; Randy Sexton, co-director of amateur scouting; Tomas Vokoun, G.

Useless Panthers Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (Drummondville) was one of four players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League selected in the first round of the 2009 draft. The others were Bruins right winger Jordan Caron (Rimouski), Hurricanes center Philippe Paradis (Shawinigan) and Penguins defenseman Simon Despres (Saint John).

Best Panthers  Video We Could Find: Rats!

Probable goaltenders: Jeff Zatkoff (3-2-0, 3.18 GAA, .877 SV%) for the Penguins. Tim Thomas (6-8-1, 2.75 GAA, .909 SV%) for the Panthers.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right wingers Beau Bennett (undisclosed) Chuck Kobasew ("lower body"), defensemen Paul Martin (leg), Rob Scuderi (broken ankle), left winger Tanner Glass (hand) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clots) are on injured reserve. For the Panthers, defensemen Matt Gilroy ("lower body"), Ed Jovanovski ("lower body") and right winger Tomas Kopecky ("upper body") are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins did not hold a morning skate today. Consider this a guess at their lines and defensive pairings based off last night's game:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 9 Pascal Dupuis
36 Jussi Jokinen- 71 Evgeni Malkin - 18 James Neal
25 Andrew Ebbett - 16 Brandon Sutter - 23 Chris Conner
59 Jayson Megna - 46 Joe Vitale - 27 Craig Adams

3 Olli Maata - 58 Kris Letang
44 Brooks Orpik - 5 Deryk Engelland
2 Matt Niskanen - 47 Simon Despres

-The Panthers expected lines and defensive pairings are:

11 Jonathan Huberdeau - 27 Nick Bjugstad - 14 Tomas Fleischmann
19 Scottie Upshall - 16 Aleksander Barkov - 24 Brad Boyes
20 Sean Bergenheim - 57 Marcel Goc - 17 Jesse Winchester
18 Shawn Matthias - 23 Scott Gomez - 12 Jimmy Hayes

51 Brian Campbell - 77 Tom Gilbert
7 Dmitry Kulikov - 43 Mike Weaver
4 Dylan Olsen - 44 Erik Gudbranson

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played the Panthers, this happened:

-Upshall has 98 career assists.

-Our live blog, direct from our couch, begins at approximately 6:45 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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Empty Netter Assists - 11-30-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Shelly Anderson's recap from last night's game. "He just told me to forget about the last [game] and go play this one hard and try my best." - Marc-Andre Fleury on advice he got from former Penguins goaltender Les Binkley.

-The Tampa Tribune's recap. “I didn’t think we gave them much. I thought we matched them pretty well. We were on top of them the whole game. We have some chances, they have some chances, so I thought it wasn’t even matchup. They put their chances away.’’ - Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.

-The Tampa Bay Times recap. "He didn't let in any goals, so you have to give him credit." - Lightning forward J.T. Brown on Fleury.

-The Associated Press' recap. Sidney Crosby recorded his 700th career point.

-Highlights:

-Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson and Kris Letang battle for this puck:

-Crosby speaks:

-Did Evgeni Malkin get a warning for his equipment violation?

-Eric Hartzell made 25 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 1-0 shutout of the rival Binghamton Senators.

-Highlights:

-Hartzell recorded his first career AHL shutout.

-Sahir Gill had a goal and an assist for the Wheeling Nailers who defeated the Elmira Jackals, 3-1. Mike Condon made 34 saves in the victory.

-Former Penguins forward Chris Bourque has joined Biel of Switzerland's NLA.

-Happy 41st birthday to former Penguins forward Sean Pronger. Acquired at the 1998 trade deadline in a deal which sent Patrick Lalime to the Mighty Ducks, Pronger spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1997-98 by appearing in five games and scoring one goal for the Penguins. He appeared in five postseason games that spring and failed to score a point. After two points and no points in 1998-99, Pronger was traded along with Chris Tamer and Petr Nedved to the Rangers in exchange for Alex Kovalev and Harry York. In seven regular season games, Pronger recorded one point.

-After the Jump: Another day. Another milestone for Jaromir Jagr.

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