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Steel City Thursday (Now with Updates!)

CleanglassMust be a big game, or just that time of year, because there were guys in the arena actually cleaning the Plexiglas around the ice this morning.

Don't know if they were using Windex or not.

Want to get that glass as clean as possible, what with the high-flying Penguins coming to town. Don't want fans to have to squint when Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and crew take to the ice.

-- The Pens will be facing Craig Anderson tonight, JM joking it doesn't take a very smart coach to make that call. Hey, dude has stopped 93 shots in the past two games -- both shutouts. Yeah, pretty easy decision.

-- JM says its a gametime decision whether Radek Dvorak plays, but that's not all together true. Tanner Glass is out, Dvorak is in. That's a done deal folks.

-- Bryan Allen is still questionable but practiced today and I would guess he's in.

Floridaeverblades2 -- Don't know if folks have read my story today regarding the Panthers' minor leagues, but there's a possibility the Panthers will be out of the AHL next season and instead put a bunch of their players with the ECHL Everblades across the 'glades in Estero. Story RIGHT HERE 

My take: I think what ends up happening is Steve Donner ends up selling the Rochester franchise to Buffalo, with the Panthers sharing the affiliation for another season and then taking up another team somewhere else. Names popping up include Glens Falls, N.Y., and Cornwall, Ontario. The Panthers don't seem to be real hip about putting an AHL team in Orlando despite how that could grow the sport in this state.

PS: Chad Kilger is a native of Cornwall.

-- Speaking of the Blades, according to Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Kenndal McArdle has agreed to join the Everblades so he can get five games in and be eligible for the playoffs. McArdle, drafted by the Panthers at the Ottawa Westin draft of 2005, agreed to the deal for the postseason experience.

"Any time I have a chance to play in the playoffs, I'm not going to pass up the opportunity, no matter what level that it's in," McArdle told the Democrat. Rest of story right here ESTERO IS MUCH WARMER THAN ROCH


-- The expected, Dvorak and Allen back in the lineup tonight; your scractches are Glass and Branislav Mezei. In net for the Pens, Marc-Andre Fleury (he shutout the Bolts on Tuesday)...

-- The unexpected: The Barry Manilow face lives to see another game!

-- Panthers have won a combined 21 games in the month of March heading into this one. Can they keep up that hot stretch? Gimme your thoughts below....

-- Wade Belak gets into his first fight as a member of the Panthers at 4:52 of the first period, March 6, 2008. Belak battles Pitt heavyweight Georges Laraque. Georgie Boy gets the win..

-- But the Panthers win the battle; six seconds after the brawl, Rostislav Olesz scores to give Florida -- and more importantly Craig "Andy" Anderson a 2-0 lead...

-- Andy's shutout streak comes to an end, Ryan Malone popping in a loose puck at 6:19 of first. The tally: Three games, 154 minutes 5 seconds, 108 straight shots.

Pretty good, but falls short of Roberto Luongo's franchise mark of 182:37...

Gary -- Gary Roberts is up here in the press box tonight, enjoying not only the view but the company of friend Joe Nieuwendyk.

GR says he's healing up, feeling good, chomping at the bit wanting to get out there. Very complimentary of his team, also singing the praises of one David Booth. Always figured Booth would be a Gary Roberts kinda guy. Roberts said he met up with Booth today, told him "that No. 10 never went so fast.''

And yes, Gary sends his best...

-- Cats outshoot Flightless Seabirds 19-9 in the opening period. Anderson's new scoreless streak is at 13:41 (scoop!)

Manilowbobble -- When Brian Y is away, the bobbleheads will play....

-- Still waiting for a return appearance by the Banana.

-- Boston Bruins on the verge of losing their third straight, getting hammered by the [edit] Maple Leaves right now. The Bs might be in a bit of a tailspin after winning six straight. How did that six game winning streak end? Washington dropping puck bombs from the get, winning 10-2. That'll stunt any team's growth....