Injuries to defensemen Kris Letang
and Zbynek Michalek
have opened the door for former Penguins' No. 1 draft pick Simon Despres
to potentially make his NHL debut Thursday night against the Capitals here at Verizon Center.
Despres, the No. 30 pick in 2009, was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Thursday, and since Alexandre Picard was sent down, the Penguins still have only six defensemen here to play. The Penguins have not taken their morning skate yet so there is no confirmation on the lineup, but unless coach Dan Bylsma
wants to dress only five blueliners (not likely), Despres will be in the lineup.
Despres, 20, has 3 goals and 4 assists along with a plus-3 rating in 22 games as a rookie this season for WBS. All three of his goals were game-winning goals and his 7 points are tied for the team lead among defensemen.
Here are the forward lines for the Penguins at the team's morning skate.
- Sidney Crosby
- Pascal Dupuis
- Evgeni Malkin
- James Neal
- Jordan Staal
- Tyler Kennedy
- Richard Park
- Craig Adams
Coach Dan Bylsma
rotated the defense pairings throughout the skate.
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl