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Preview: Panthers at Penguins

Center Sidney Crosby game-time decision; Jaromir Jagr back in Pittsburgh to face former team

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PANTHERS (3-1-1) at PENGUINS (3-2-1)

7 p.m. ET; ROOT, FS-F, NHL.TV

Panthers team scope

Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr will play his 55th game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jagr has been successful facing his former team (24 goals, 46 points) but that wasn't the case last season, when he failed to score in three games and finished a minus-2. Jagr has one goal and three points in five games this season. The Panthers are without forwards Jonathan Huberdeau (lower body), Nick Bjugstad (upper body) and Jussi Jokinen (lower body), but have won three of five games. "We're missing pretty good players and the young guys coming in, they've filled their role," Jagr said. "They've gotten the opportunity to show how good they are and that's what they're doing, I think. I'm very happy about it." Goalie James Reimer will make his second start of the season. He allowed three goals on 28 shots in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 18.

 

Penguins team scope

Center Sidney Crosby listed himself as a game-time decision but coach Mike Sullivan said he'll likely play. "We'll see how things go today, but yesterday was good," Crosby said. "So, we'll see." Crosby, who has yet to play this season because of a concussion sustained during an Oct. 7 practice, centered a line with left wing Scott Wilson and right wing Patric Hornqvist during the morning skate. He also joined Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Justin Schultz on the top power-play unit. Crosby's addition could spark a dormant Penguins offense that has averaged two goals through six games. Defenseman Kris Letang, who skated in a yellow no-contact jersey, has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury sustained against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 18 and will not play. "I felt awful [during morning skate]," Letang said. "It's good to be back on the ice. It's going the right way. First step."

 

Panthers projected lineup 

Jonathan Marchessault -- Aleksander Barkov -- Jaromir Jagr

Kyle Rau -- Vincent Trocheck -- Reilly Smith

Jared McCann -- Denis Malgin -- Colton Sceviour

Greg McKegg -- Derek MacKenzie -- Shane Harper

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Michael Matheson -- Jason Demers

Mark Pysyk -- Alex Petrovic

James Reimer

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Shawn Thornton, Steven Kampfer

Injured: Nick Bjugstad (upper body), Jonathan Huberdeau (lower body), Jussi Jokinen (lower body)

 

Penguins projected lineup

Scott Wilson -- Sidney Crosby -- Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Matt Cullen -- Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin -- Trevor Daley

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Olli Maatta -- David Warsofsky

Marc-Andre Fleury

Mike Condon

Scratched: Tom Sestito

Injured: Matt Murray (broken hand), Kris Letang (upper body), Conor Sheary (eye), Derrick Pouliot (undisclosed)

 

Status report

Sheary did not participate in the morning skate. Sullivan said he has not been cleared to play and would be re-evaluated in a week. … Jokinen will miss a second consecutive game. Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said Jokinen did not travel to Pittsburgh. 

 

Who's hot

Wilson provided one of Pittsburgh's lone bright spots in its 5-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday. He scored his second goal in as many games to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead 52 seconds into the first period. … Marchessault had a goal and two points in Florida's 5-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. He leads the Panthers with seven points.

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