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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 2:44 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Morrow nervous, excited to make Penguins debut

PITTSBURGH -- More than 13 years after making his NHL debut, Brenden Morrow felt something during his drive to the rink Tuesday morning that he hadn't felt much since breaking into the League as a 20-year-old in 1999.

Nerves.

"I hadn't felt them in a long time," Morrow said after the morning skate Tuesday, in advance of his Pittsburgh Penguins debut Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens. "But those are good feelings. They're not maybe the best feelings in your body, but you know you're alive, you know you're feeling something when those butterflies show up."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 1:35 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Morrow on line with Neal at Penguins' morning skate

PITTSBURGH -- As Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is wont to do, he did not expound on his plans for the line combinations for Tuesday's game against the Montreal Canadiens, but the just-acquired Brenden Morrow was on the left wing on a line with Dustin Jeffrey and James Neal for the morning skate -- real estate rookie Beau Bennett held in recent weeks.

Bylsma finally acknowledged a nagging injury to Matt Cooke, who has regularly sat out morning skates in recent weeks but has not missed any games. Assuming he is healthy, the addition of Morrow means one player will be left out.

Bennett was occupying the spot Cooke usually holds on the third line. With Jeffrey and Joe Vitale needed as true centers, Tanner Glass playing plenty of minutes on the penalty kill, and Tyler Kennedy's strong play of late, the best guess is that rookie Bennett will be the odd man out.

Here are the projected lines and defensemen pairings for Tuesday night's game between the Penguins and Canadiens at Consol Energy Center:

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Posted On Sunday, 03.24.2013 / 1:54 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Briere missing from Flyers' lineup Sunday

PITTSBURGH -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Danny Briere will not play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) because of upper-body injury sustained during practice Saturday.  
  
Briere, who has five goals and eight assists in 26 games, officially was listed as "day-to-day" by general manager Paul Holmgren. Briere did not accompany the team on the trip to Pittsburgh. 
  
Briere does not have a point in seven games, and is without a goal since Feb. 18, a span of 13 contests. Briere has 38 points -- tied for third-most against any opponent -- in 47 career games against the Penguins.


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Posted On Sunday, 03.24.2013 / 1:39 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Malkin waiting until shoulder is '100 percent' to return

PITTSBURGH -- Saying he will not return to the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup until his injured shoulder feels 100 percent, Evgeni Malkin will not play Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

The reigning NHL MVP and scoring champion will miss his eighth consecutive game.

"I'm out until I'm 100 percent," Malkin said after participating in another morning skate with the team Sunday. "No rush. I have a workout program with my doctor and (Penguins strength and conditioning coach) Mike Kadar. I played a little in the corners today. It's still a little sore, but we will see next game."

The Penguins carry an 11-game winning streak into the game against the rival Flyers. Pittsburgh has won all seven of the most recent games Malkin has missed and is 9-2-0 without him this season.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 2:38 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Laich looking to start at top speed

PITTSBURGH -- Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates repeatedly has asserted that he plans on easing forward Brooks Laich back into the lineup when his recovery from a groin injury was complete.

Now that the time has come for Laich to make his season debut, Washington's alternate captain isn't interested in slowly working his way into the lineup.

"We don't have the luxury of taking the time to get back into form," Laich said Tuesday, in advance of the Capitals' game against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). "I'm expected to be certain things when I'm on the ice, and anything less than that is not acceptable."

Laich has been activated from injured reserve and will play against the Penguins. It will be his first game action since November, when he injured his groin playing for a team in Switzerland.

"I have been in 'season mode' since September," Laich said. "I just want to make a seamless transition to be part of the team. I don't want this to be any sort of distraction to the guys or anything -- I'm just going to come in, play my game and try to contribute to a win."

Across the Capitals' locker room, it was clear Laich's return was welcomed. Washington (12-15-1) entered Tuesday seven points out of the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 1:00 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Malkin, Letang out; Cooke game-time decision

PITTSBURGH -- For the first time in 10 days, Evgeni Malkin spent Tuesday morning skating with his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates.

He won't, however, be joining them on the ice Tuesday night when they face the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

The reigning NHL MVP's return to game action could come soon, though.

Malkin skated on his own with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar for about a half-hour before the Penguins' full group had its morning skate.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.17.2013 / 1:59 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Penguins' Letang out with lower-body injury

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will not return Sunday against the Boston Bruins because of a lower-body injury, the team announced.

The NHL's scoring leader among defensemen, Letang has three goals and 25 assists in 26 games this season. He recorded a shot on goal, a blocked shot and a minus-1 rating in 7:02 of ice time during the first period against the Bruins.

Letang, who missed three games in early February because of a lower-body injury, has at least one assist in seven of his past eight games -- all Pittsburgh victories. He is third in the NHL in assists behind teammate Sidney Crosby and the Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis.

Letang's next point will be the 200th of his career. He has a seven-game assist streak in home games.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.17.2013 / 11:18 AM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Malkin skates again, still not ready

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin skated on his own again Sunday morning but will not play in the team's afternoon game against the Boston Bruins as he continues to recover from an upper-body injury.

Malkin, the NHL's reigning MVP and scoring champion, will sit out his fifth consecutive game and for the ninth time in the Penguins' past 12 contests. The team has said the latest injury is unrelated to a concussion that kept him out of four games from Feb. 24-March 2.

Malkin, who has four goals and 19 assists in 21 games this season, is believed to have sustained the current injury while absorbing a check from the Toronto Maple Leafs' James van Riemsdyk late in the third period of a game March 9. Malkin took one shift after the hit, which occurred along the boards in the neutral zone, but did not play the final two minutes of regulation nor during overtime.

The Penguins are 6-2 without Malkin this season, winning each of the past four games without the two-time Art Ross Trophy winner. Pittsburgh (21-8-0) has won eight consecutive games overall and can take over sole possession of the Eastern Conference lead with a win Sunday against Boston.

The No. 2 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, Malkin had 50 goals and 59 assists last season and has 551 points in 448 career games. With Malkin out, the Penguins have used Dustin Jeffrey and Brandon Sutter in his place centering their second line.

With Malkin down, the Penguins have not had any healthy scratches among their forwards over the past week. If any of their forwards were to be injured, the team would be forced to dress seven defensemen unless it made a roster move.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 6:34 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Malkin skates; projected lineups for Bruins, Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins star center Evgeni Malkin remains out of the lineup, but he did skate on his own before the team's morning skate Tuesday.

Malkin, who has an upper-body injury, will miss his second consecutive game when Pittsburgh hosts the Boston Bruins 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. He apparently sustained the injury -- likely to his right shoulder -- while colliding with the boards after a hit from the Toronto Maple Leafs' James van Riemsdyk late during a game Saturday night.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.10.2013 / 1:50 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Islanders, Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- The projected lines and defensemen pairings for Sunday night's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center:

ISLANDERS

Matt Moulson - John Tavares - Brad Boyes

Josh Bailey - Frans NielsenKyle Okposo

Michael GrabnerMarty ReasonerDavid Ullstrom

Matt Martin - Casey CizikasColin McDonald

Travis Hamonic - Andrew MacDonald

Thomas HickeyLubomir Visnovsky

Mark Streit - Radek Martinek

Evgeni Nabokov

Kevin Poulin


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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh