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Projected lineups for Penguins, Islanders

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 12:38 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Projected lineups for Penguins, Islanders
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby took his customary skate this morning during the Penguins' practice session, working with Steve MacIntyre and Mark Letstu.
Crosby won't make his season debut tonight against the New York Islanders, but he was certainly in a jovial mood and having fun with his teammates. He also worked the point on the power-play alongside Paul Martin with forwards Mark Letstu, Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke down low.
With the luxury of the final line change, expect Penguins coach Dan Bylsma to have two-way center Jordan Staal on the ice whenever Islanders center John Tavares, who leads his team with 6 goals and 10 points, takes his shift.
"Tavares did things in our last game that were very dangerous and very good in the offensive zone, cutting the seams and pulling up on rushes and looking for late defensemen," Bylsma said. "His line was dangerous in the game and could have got them on the board. In the third period, he also had several chances. Tonight, playing home gives us a chance to maybe get a little closer matchup on him than we could have on the road.
"In a perfect world, you'll see Jordan Staal out on him a lot either with his wings (Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis) or maybe with (Craig Adams and Dustin Jeffrey)."
The Penguins players wore special purple jerseys at the morning skate and will again don the attire during pre-game warmups on Thursday while the organization supports the NHL's annual Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. Each player will sign his jersey following the warm-up, and those jerseys will then be auctioned off at beginning on Nov. 1.
Bylsma said the lineups would be a gametime decision, but here's what rolled during the morning practice session.
Steve Sullivan - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Richard Park - Arron Asham
Dustin Jeffrey - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik - Deryk Engelland
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy
Marc-Andre Fleury, who posted a 33-save, 3-0 victory over the Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y., on Tuesday, again gets the nod between the pipes and Brent Johnson will back him up.
Meanwhile, Islanders defenseman Milan Jurcina will make his season debut in place of Mike Mottau.
"Mike has played extremely well for us, as have all our D," Isles coach Jack Capuano said. "We just want to get Juice (Jurcina) back in."
This should be the Islanders' lineup:
Matt Moulson - John Tavares - PA Parenteau
Michael Grabner - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
Brian Rolston - Josh Bailey - Blake Comeau
Matt Martin - Marty Reasoner - Jay Pandolfo
Mark Streit - Steve Staios
Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic
Mark Eaton - Milan Jurcina
Evgeni Nabokov will start in net. Rick DiPietro will serve as the backup.
In addition to the game, there's also plenty of fervor and excitement building up over the big League announcement that will be made at 3 p.m. ET here at Consol Energy Center. Stay tuned to for complete details ...

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale


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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