-- Since Sunday's season finale against the Thrashers represents the proverbial, late-season meaningless game -- his Pittsburgh squad is locked into the Eastern Conference's fourth seed and a match-up with the Tampa Bay Lightning
-- Penguins coach Dan Bylsma
said that Brent Johnson
would start in goal and that he would rest center Jordan Staal
and that wing James Neal
also would not play.
With Philadelphia's 7-4 win over the New York Islanders
on Saturday, Philadelphia clinched the Atlantic Division and prevented the Penguins from having a chance to win it with a victory on Sunday.
As a result, Johnson ended up earning his second start in the last nine games over No. 1 Marc-Andre Fleury
and center Mike Comrie
, wings Eric Tangradi
and Chris Conner
were inserted into the lineup with enforcer Eric Godard
sitting out. (Atlanta's leader in fighting majors Eric Boulton
sat with an injury while rookie Carl Klingberg
, the 34th overall selection in the 2009 Entry Draft, was set to make his League debut.)
Staal has played an amazing amount of minutes for a forward in recent weeks, including 25:13 of time on ice on Friday so it seems Bylsma wanted to give him some rest.