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At the Rink blog

Gibbons expected to skate on Penguins' top line

Monday, 01.27.2014 / 1:16 PM

By Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Gibbons expected to skate on Penguins' top line

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby most likely will have a new right wing when the Pittsburgh Penguins play the Buffalo Sabres on Monday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2).

After missing five games with a lower-body injury, forward Brian Gibbons was activated off injured reserve Saturday and skated alongside Crosby and Chris Kunitz during Pittsburgh's Monday morning skate. Gibbons has two goals, four assists in 13 games with the Penguins.

Before his injury Gibbons was one of several players to see time at right wing on Pittsburgh's top line after Pascal Dupuis sustained a season-ending ACL injury.

"We were playing pretty well together when we left off there a couple of weeks ago," Gibbons said. "Hopefully we pick up where we left off."

Crosby said Gibbons' speed differentiates him from other options available to the Penguins.

"He creates a lot with that and his forecheck to help generate chances," Crosby said. "That's all he has to do, is focus on moving his feet and helping us create some chances."

Gibbons will replace Chuck Kobasew, who probably will be a healthy scratch against the Sabres.

Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said forward Drew Stafford will not play Monday after sustaining an upper-body injury against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. But forward Ville Leino, who also sustained an upper-body injury in the same game, will be in the lineup and could play on the top line.

"[Leino could play on the first line] because of his maturity and his expectations," Nolan said. "You expect a little more from him than a guy like Linus [Omark]."

Here are the expected lineups for the Penguins and Sabres:

PENGUINS

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Brian Gibbons

Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal

Tanner Glass - Brandon Sutter - Jayson Megna

Taylor Pyatt - Craig Adams - Deryk Engelland

Rob Scuderi - Kris Letang

Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin

Olli Maatta - Matt Niskanen

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett

Injured: Beau Bennett (wrist/hand), Chris Conner (hand), Pascal Dupuis (ACL), Joe Vitale (upper body), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)

SABRES

Matt Moulson - Tyler Ennis - Ville Leino

Steve Ott - Cody Hodgson - Zemgus Girgensons

Marcus Foligno - Brian Flynn - Philip Varone

Linus Omark - Zenon Konopka - Matt Ellis

Henrik Tallinder - Tyler Myers

Christian Ehrhoff - Chad Ruhwedel

Jamie McBain - Mike Weber

Ryan Miller

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: John Scott, Alexander Sulzer

Injured: Cody McCormick (finger), Drew Stafford (upper body), Matt D'Agostini (upper body)

Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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