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Penguins Report: Crosby and Malkin Separated in Line Shakeup

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Sidney Crosby-Evgeni Malkin pairing has been broken up. Head coach Michel Therrien shook up the Penguins line combinations at practice on Wednesday afternoon in San Jose, with the most prominent change being the separation of Crosby and Malkin.

Skating with Crosby will be Pascal Dupuis and Ruslan Fedotenko. Malkin will center a line with Petr Sykora and Matt Cooke. The remaining pairings were Tyler Kennedy-Jordan Staal-Miroslav Satan, and Paul Bissonnette-Mike Zigomanis-Eric Godard.

Fedotenko has scored two goals in the last three games and saw action on the top line with Crosby and Malkin against San Jose. Dupuis has been a constant linemate with Crosby since his acquisition from Atlanta last season.

Malkin and Sykora started the season on the same line and were together for a majority of last season. The pair had good chemistry and rapport last year. Cooke appears fully recovered from his injury. He played physical against the Sharks and will provide some muscle to the line.

Staal remains at center, his natural position. Satan is a gifted goal scorer and Kennedy is a high-energy player. Kennedy moves back to wing after being forced to play center against San Jose on Tuesday due to an undisclosed injury to Maxime Talbot.

> Defenseman Hal Gill practiced with the team for the second straight day but his status for Thursday night’s game in Phoenix against the Coyotes is still unknown. Gill missed a week of practice with an undisclosed injury.

Talbot did not practice for the second day in a row. He missed his first game of the season on Tuesday against San Jose. Talbot's status for Thursday night is also unknown.

> The Penguins flew to Phoenix following their Wednesday practice in San Jose. They will hold a morning skate tomorrow at Arena. Zigomanis, was acquired in a trade with Phoenix on Oct. 9 of this season, will face his old team for the first time. Pittsburgh has two other players that were once a part of the Phoenix organization: Bill Thomas and Jeff Taffe. They both currently play with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.


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