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Posted On Monday, 03.04.2013 / 2:54 PM

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

Projected lineups for Lightning, Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- The projected lines and defensemen pairings for tonight's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center:

LIGHTNING

Cory Conacher - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell

Alex Killorn - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis

Ondrej Palat - Nate Thompson - Tom Pyatt

Adam Hall - BJ Crombeen

Sami Salo - Victor Hedman

Eric Brewer - Matt Carle

Keith Aulie - Brian Lee

Mathieu Garon

Anders Lindback


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Posted On Sunday, 03.03.2013 / 2:16 PM

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

Penguins' Malkin feels good after practice

CANONSBURG, Pa. -- Nine days after a scary collision with the boards, Evgeni Malkin was back on the ice with his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates Sunday.

The reigning NHL scoring champion and MVP reported he "feels pretty good" after going through an optional practice at the Penguins' suburban practice facility.

"It was good to practice on the ice today with the team and [absorb] contact a little bit," Malkin said in his first comments to the media since losing his balance and sliding violently into the boards during the third period of a win against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 22. "And I feel good now."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 1:58 PM

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

With Malkin out, Neal gets chance to play with Crosby

PITTSBURGH -- Poor James Neal. The winger lost his world-class former scoring champion center to injury.

The replacement? A world-class former scoring champion center.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin for Sunday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning due to an upper-body injury. As a result, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma bumped Neal, who is tied for the National Hockey League lead in goals, up onto a line with Sidney Crosby.

"James is an elite guy at getting open and finding areas, and that doesn't change who the centerman is," Bylsma said. "He's going to do that and that's what he's going to be able to do playing next to Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin."

Neal will begin Sunday's game on Crosby's right wing, with Chris Kunitz in his customary spot to Crosby's left.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 1:46 PM

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

Penguins still evaluating Malkin

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are not ruling out that star center Evgeni Malkin has a concussion, and the organization is following protocol to identify if he indeed does.

Coach Dan Bylsma indicated they are encouraged Malkin's condition since crashing into the boards during Friday night's game is not as dire as previously reported.

"He will be continue to be evaluated by doctors tonight before the game," Bylsma said following the Penguins' morning skate in preparation for the matchup Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. "At this point in time, we have not ruled out a concussion. But I am happy to report that he has not been suffering from headaches or disorientation."

That is in contrast to a report from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Saturday that cited multiple unnamed sources close to Malkin.

Asked to clarify his assertion that Malkin has not experienced headaches or disorientation, Bylsma said: "I mean at any point, yes."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 1:01 PM

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

Neal on Crosby's line with Malkin out

PITTSBURGH -- The projected lines and defensemen pairings for a game Sunday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center:

LIGHTNING

Cory Conacher - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell

Benoit Pouliot - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis

Alex Killorn - Nate Thompson - Tom Pyatt

Richard PanikAdam Hall - BJ Crombeen

Sami Salo - Victor Hedman

Eric Brewer - Matt Carle

Marc-Andre Bergeron - Brian Lee

Anders Lindback

Mathieu Garon

Injured: Ryan Malone, Mattias Ohlund, Matt Taormina

Scratches: Keith Aulie, Brendan Mikkelson, Pierre-Cedric Labrie

The Lightning did not have a morning skate Sunday, but they are expected to stick with the same lineup that produced a 5-2 victory at the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday -- with the exception of Lindback being back in goal.

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Posted On Friday, 02.22.2013 / 2:31 PM

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

Markstrom could make start in goal for Panthers

PITTSBURGH -- Well into his third season of playing in North America, Jacob Markstrom has found his comfort level. A 2008 second-round pick of the Florida Panthers, Markstrom believes he's ready to make his mark in the National Hockey League.

Recalled from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio earlier this week, Markstrom reportedly will make his NHL season debut for the Panthers on Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Florida coach Kevin Dineen was not available to confirm who will start in goal Friday for the Panthers, who are coming off a win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. The Miami Herald reported Thursday that Markstrom will be in goal against the Penguins. Dineen is expected to announce the starter 90 minutes before game-time.

Markstrom played seven of his eight NHL games last season, going 2-4-1 with a 2.66 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. But he says he's a different goalie now than he was last season.

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Posted On Friday, 02.22.2013 / 2:18 PM

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

Penguins' Jeffrey wants to secure regular spot

PITTSBURGH -- Dustin Jeffrey doesn't sugarcoat it. It hasn't been easy sitting and watching, playing in only one game for the Pittsburgh Penguins through the first three weeks of February.

He hopes to show enough Friday night that he won't be a healthy scratch much more.

Jeffrey skated with Tanner Glass and Craig Adams on the Penguins' fourth line during the morning skate Friday and likely will be in the lineup when Pittsburgh faces the Florida Panthers.

"Obviously, you want to play every night," said Jeffrey, a 2007 sixth-round pick of the club who turns 25 next week. "So it's an opportunity tonight, if I have a good game hopefully I can stay in the lineup. You want to play every night you don't like sitting out [13] out of [17] games [so far this season]."

Jeffrey likely will replace Joe Vitale as the center on the line with Glass and Adams. His game differs slightly from that of Vitale, who is smaller and quicker but doesn't possess the skill package the 6-1, 205-pound Jeffrey does.

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Posted On Friday, 02.22.2013 / 1:26 PM

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

Projected lineups for Panthers, Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- The projected lines and defensemen pairings for tonight's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers at Consol Energy Center:

PANTHERS

Tomas Fleischmann - Marcel Goc - Tomas Kopecky

Jack Skille - Stephen Weiss - Shawn Matthias

Jonathan Huberdeau - Drew Shore - Peter Mueller

Alex Kovalev - Mike Santorelli - George Parros

Dmitry Kulikov - Brian Campbell

Filip Kuba - Mike Weaver

Erik Gudbranson - Tyson Strachan

Jacob Markstrom

Scott Clemmensen


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Posted On Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 7:39 PM

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

Flyers' Hartnell can practice, 7-10 days from return

PITTSBURGH -- The Philadelphia Flyers won't have to wait much longer for their leading goal-scorer from a season ago.

Wing Scott Hartnell was cleared to return to practice Wednesday and is on track to play in a game in a week to 10 days, general manager Paul Holmgren said. Hartnell missed his 15th consecutive game Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hartnell, who had a career-high 37 goals last season, has been recovering from a broken left foot sustained in a Jan. 22 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Holmgren also updated the status of injured defenseman Andrej Meszaros.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 3:00 PM

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

Veteran D-man Eaton would love return to Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- The dressing room is a different one because the old building across the street was torn down. But when Mark Eaton walked into the Pittsburgh Penguins locker room at Consol Energy Center, he felt right at home.

Eaton, a 35-year-old, 12-year NHL veteran, skated with the Penguins on Wednesday and will remain with the team he won the 2009 Stanley Cup with for at least the next few days.

Although Eaton did not sign a contract with Pittsburgh, he has spent the previous few weeks with the organization's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, playing in six games with the Baby Penguins.

"I've always expressed interest (in joining the Penguins), and there's some interest on the other side as well," Eaton said. "Other teams in the League and guys have been doing this -- unsigned and kind of skating with the team to have them get a look at them. Hopefully I can impress a little bit and end up here. That's the long-term goal."

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