Boring. Really boring game. But I suppose that was to be expected. There is literally nothing that is good about the Florida Panthers. They are the worst team in the east and arguably the worst team in the league. Combine that with a Pens team that played without their three best players and it equals a snooze fest.
No one really expected Evgeni Malkin not to play in this game. It was a late announcement that he would miss the game and the initial reason why was hilarious. Dave Molinari tweeted before the game started that it was likely that Malkin would miss the game because of severe sunburn.
There seems to be a very real chance that Malkin will be held out of tonight’s game because of severe sunburn. Warmups could be revealing.
— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) April 13, 2013
Now if that would have truly been the case it would have been hilarious. I could have made fun of Malkin for not wearing any clothes in the state of Florida.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. He was ruled out of the game due to an upper body injury and one can only speculate that it means that his shoulder is acting up. Hopefully that’s not the case with Sidney Crosby already out with the broken jaw and James Neal out of the lineup with a concussion.
The good thing is that it didn’t much matter. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would have had a decent shot at beating the Panthers. Unlike what I assumed in my preview, Jacob Markstrom did get the start in net rather than Scott Clemmensen, but he suffered the same result that he did the last time he started against the Pens. Kris Letang, who has two more points than the Panthers’ leading scorer in 11 less games, started the goal scoring off with a shot from the point that got past Markstrom in the first period.
Brenden Morrow scored his first of two goals in the game later in the period with a shot from below the goal line that he deflected off the back of Markstrom and into the net. Morrow later added another goal on the empty net at the end of the third period. He now has points in four of his last five games and really seems to have found his place in the Pens’ lineup.
The only goal for the Panthers came in the second period in the midst of a scrum in front of the net. The goal ended up belonging to Scottie Upshall. Remember him? We used to hate him. He used to play for the Flyers. Now he just sucks.
Like I said, it was a painfully boring game. I was honestly more entertained by the Pirates tonight and that’s saying a lot. I would expect more boring games as well. Common sense and intelligence says that Malkin should just not play for the rest of the regular season. We already know the same fate belong to Crosby and who knows about Neal. The top seed in the east is pretty much locked up at this point anyway. The only thing left to decide is who a healthy Pens team will get to demolish in the first round of the playoffs.