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Gibbons expected to skate on Penguins' top line

Monday, 01.27.2014 / 1:16 PM

By Wes Crosby - 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:


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)


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

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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