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Penguins Report: Detroit Rock City

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins held an afternoon practice at Mellon Arena on Sunday. The team has a 2 p.m. flight to Detroit after practice, as the Penguins are set for a Monday rematch of the last two Stanley Cup Finals against the Red Wings.

The contest will be the first time the Penguins will play a meaningful game at Joe Louis Arena since lifting the Cup back on June 12, 2009 following a Game 7 road victory (note: the Penguins did play in Detroit during the preseason).

1:10 PM:
Head coach Dan Bylsma briefly addressed reporters following practice at Mellon Arena earlier today. Here is what Bylsma had to say:

On the practice being short today:
It’s that time of year. Judging where our team is at, I think getting something out of practice and being short is better than spending a lot of time on the ice today.
On Evgeni Malkin not participating in the practice today:
Geno was not in the lineup before yesterday. Today was obviously going to be a day where he’s a little bit sore.
On if Maxime Talbot will play in the game against Detroit:
We have not decided on a lineup for Detroit.
On pushing the players who do not play as many minutes as some of the others:
You’re looking for balance, and you talk about players who have played in the Olympics to the Gold Medal Game versus players who haven’t played as much hockey in the past few years as some of the players in our room. There are lots of things to consider. It’s tough to judge the mental wear-and-tear on the team and the players based on which hockey we played and what this year has brought us. Those are all things in consideration. You’d like to be disappointed about how we played last night, but you can’t also do a no-puck skating day, because we didn’t play as well as we would have liked. We address those situations and talk about them and try to get better at what we need to get better at, but you have to decide what’s best for the body and the mind at this time of year.
12:06 PM:

Pittsburgh held a very short practice before calling it a day. The team skated for about 20 minutes of mandatory work, but some players did stay on the ice for extra work. Head coach Dan Bylsma called the session "short and sweet." He also said the abbreviated practice was partially due to give the players a much needed rest to gear up for the final 10-game stretch.

11:31 AM:

Alexei Ponikarovsky skates with Jordan Staal (left); Marc-Andre Fleury and assistant coach Mike Yeo (right)

The team huddles around head coach Dan Bylsma (left); Sidney Crosby beats Marc-Andre Fleury with a beautiful backhand shot (right)


11:17 AM:
Pittsburgh held an 11 a.m. practice at Mellon Arena on Sunday. The only players not to participate were Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar and Matt Cooke. Malkin has been nursing an injury to his foot. He missed two games because of the injury, but returned to the lineup Saturday agaisnt Carolina. Malkin gave his foot a rest Sunday but is expected to play Monday night in Detroit.
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