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Morning Skate Update: 1/8

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
It's been a good day for Jordan Staal. First, he signed a new four-year contract extension with the Penguins that will keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2012-13 season. Then, he learned that he will be moved to the top line for the Penguins' matchup with the Nashville Predators at Sommet Center at 8 p.m.


Staal is expected to play right wing alongside Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy. The trio had a brief union at the end of Pittsburgh's 3-1 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday.

Evgeni Malkin will center the second line with Miroslav Satan and Petr Sykora. Maxime Talbot will handle the third-line duties with Matt Cooke and Alex Goligoski. Tim Wallace, Dustin Jeffrey and Eric Godard will comprise the fourth line.

The defensive pairings will be: Brooks Orpik-Ryan Whitney; Rob Scuderi-Kris Letang; Mark Eaton-Philippe Boucher. Hal Gill will be a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game.

Marc-Andre Fleury will make his fourth straight start in goal.

Pascal Dupuis and Ruslan Fedotenko, both suffered undisclosed injuries Jan. 6 against Atlanta, will not play.

Notes: Staal will be making his second appearance on the wing this season for Pittsburgh. He started the year playing alongside Malkin and Sykora but was positioned on left wing, which is the offwing for a left-handed shot. Sykora was occupying the right wing. Staal will skate on the right wing tonight with Tyler Kennedy (a right-handed shot) playing left wing.

Alex Goligoski will be making his second appearance as a forward. He saw action at defense and wing in the team's Dec. 30 game against Boston.



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