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Satan may replace Hossa on Penguins' No. 1 line

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Miroslav Satan got numerous glimpses of the Pittsburgh Penguins last season while playing against them in the Atlantic Division, and he knows the skill they possess.

They have two of the NHL's best playmakers in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The kind of scoring talent other teams envy. A roster that consists mostly of young players, yet was good enough to finish two victories away from winning the Stanley Cup.

He also knows what they no longer have, namely All-Star forward Marian Hossa.

Satan hopes Penguins' fans understand he's not Hossa, even if finds himself being plugged into Hossa's former spot with Crosby on the No. 1 line when the Penguins open the season in less than three weeks.

"Hopefully, I can meet everyone's expectations," Satan said.

That may prove difficult, and Satan knows it, especially if the former Islanders and Sabres right wing does play alongside Crosby.

Crosby went through a succession of linemates until Hossa arrived in a late-season trade and, once he was in place, the Penguins lost only two games in the first three rounds of the playoffs before being tripped up by Detroit in six.

After Hossa rejected a seven-year offer from Pittsburgh and signed with Detroit for one year, the Penguins signed Satan to a $3.5 million, one-year deal and inked former Islanders and Lighting left wing Ruslan Fedotenko to a $2.25 million, one-year contract.

Satan and Fedotenko practiced with their new team for the first time Wednesday as the Penguins opened their shortened training camp. They will leave for Europe after playing only four preseason games, the first of which is Saturday - only four days after camp opened.

Enough time for Satan to settle into such a key role on the Penguins? He's about to find out.

"He's a shooter, he's a goal scorer, that's no secret," Crosby said of Satan. "He knows where to go, so my job doesn't change. I'm usually the one passing, so that's fine."

While the 33-year-old Satan is a scorer, he's not a Hossa-level scorer. Satan had 43 goals the last two seasons combined with the Islanders, and hasn't had more than 37 in the last 10 seasons. Hossa has averaged nearly 39 goals the last five seasons, even though an injury limited him to 29 goals last season with Atlanta and Pittsburgh.

However, Satan pointed out he's never before played with a teammate as talented as Crosby, the NHL's MVP two seasons ago and the second-leading scorer in the playoffs last spring.

Unlike the Penguins players who were with the team last season, he didn't go through the grind of the two-month postseason because the Islanders missed the playoffs. That allowed him to rest up from a right knee injury that bothered him much of the season.

"Obviously, there are not too many players like him," Satan said of Crosby.

As for playing alongside him, Satan said, "I'm a player and those decisions will be up to the coach, whatever role they have for me is fine. ... I'm looking forward to playing."

He also wants to prove he can be a reliable two-way player, despite his reputation of being mostly a scorer.

"I played in Buffalo for many years and we had good defensive play in place, so any system we have here I will fill it out the best I can," he said. "I think I have showed in the past I can play both ways."

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