Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from the Pens practice at MasterCard Centre in Toronto…
The Pens continued their historical tour of hockey's history on Thursday. This time, the team visited the Hockey Hall of Fame archives - DK (Doc) Seaman Hockey Resource Centre - for a private tour of the facility following their practice session.
"In Toronto you don't always get the opportunity to see stuff like that," captain Sidney Crosby said. "It's neat. As many times as we've come here we've never had a chance to see that. We'll take full advantage of it."
Among the items inside the archive included a hat from the NHL All-Star Game at Civic Arena, a live painting of Mario Lemieux's Hockey Hall of Fame induction, an old Eddie Johnston goalie stick, a Sidney Crosby jersey from Shattuck St. Mary's, a "Back to Back for Badger" hat, a Bill Guerin Boston College jersey and a Phil Kessel Team USA jersey.
On Wednesday, the Penguins donated a Stanley Cup championship ring to the Hockey Hall of Fame, a yearly tradition for the past decade. Following the donation the Hall hosted the entire team for dinner inside the Induction area.
"I think it's great for our players to have an opportunity to explore the history of the game," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "To see some of the players that have come before this generation and have set the stage for today's game and how the game has evolved. I think it's important that all of us have respect for the generations before us. That's what this little visit to the Hall of Fame and the archives has given our team, an opportunity to have a quick history lesson on the game and some of the game's great players, great teams.
"Spending time here is invaluable for our team. I think it puts a lot of things in perspective. I hope our players gain a certain level of appreciation for the generations that have come before them and the great players that have carved the way for the game to be what it is today."
Following the archive tour the Pens boarded a bus with Buffalo as the destination.
2. Malkin returns
Pens alternate captain Evgeni Malkin, who has missed the last 4 games with an upper-body injury, participated in full-team practice and skated on a line with Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel.
Malkin, who is listed as a game-time decision for Friday's contest in Buffalo, said as long as he wakes up on Friday and feels good, he will return to the ice.
"I feel so much better," Malkin said. "Skating with the team was so much fun. I feel ready to play (Friday).
"Practice is different from a game, but I skated with the team and did everything. I feel like everything is OK. If I feel strong tomorrow when I wake up, nothing is sore, nothing is in pain, of course I'll play."
Pittsburgh used the following workflow at practice: