GAME DAY REPORT
Head coach Dan Bylsma had the following updates
- Zatkoff starting in goal
- Lineup game-time decision
- Letang skating with full range of motion
SCUDERI IN OR OUT?
Defenseman Rob Scuderi, who has been out of the lineup since late November with an ankle injury, met with the coaching staff and told them he is ready to return. However, the decision is theirs.
"I said that I'm ready to play," Scuderi said. "I'm a player and they're the coaches, so it's their decision. I'm at the point right now where the only way I'll get back into it is playing games."
Head coach Dan Bylsma said the lineup will be a game-time decision.
"We've been waiting for a bone scan over the past two-and-a-half weeks for (Scuderi's ankle) to continue to get better," Bylsma said. "He would havel liked to have gone two weeks ago. He's been skating and conditioning, practicing for a while now.
"The last three or four days in practices he's been able to get contact and some one-on-ones. Rob's gotten really close. He's probably ready to come back mentally."
When Scuderi does return, he is ready to shoulder his normal workload and ice time.
"As a player once you tell the coaches that you're ready to play, you forfeit any excuse to do your job," Scuderi said.
Zatkoff gets the start in goal tonight for the Pens
Bortuzzo celebrates scoring a goal
Engelland working on his "dangerous" shot
Everyone vs. Zatkoff
Fleury and Malkin on the ice...at the same time
Scuderi feels ready to return
MORNING SKATE DEETS
The Pens held an optional morning skate. Fourteen skaters and both goalies took part. Injured players Evgeni Malkin and Rob Scuderi were on the ice. Joining them were forwards Jussi Jokinen, Chris Conner, Brian Gibbons, Chuck Kobasew, Harry Zolnierczyk and Zach Sill, defensemen Deryk Engelland, Olli Maatta, Matt Niskanen, Robert Bortuzzo, Brian Dumoulin and Simon Despres and goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff.
For a preview of tonight's game click here. For a scouting report on the Jackets, check out Michelle Crechiolo's report below.
START THE DAY
Good morning hockey fans! Tonight the Pens are in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets for a 6 p.m. tilt. Here are some game notes to start your day...
- The Penguins take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio: 105.9 the X) at Nationwide Arena.
- Pittsburgh enters tonight’s game having won eight of its past nine games and 13 of its past 15 contests.
- Since Nov. 18 the Penguins have recorded the most wins (16) and points (33) among all NHL teams. Their record is 16-3-1 during that span.
- The Penguins are 6-2 in their last eight road games.
- Pittsburgh is 3-0 this season against the Blue Jackets, clinching a winning record in the season series.
- The Penguins have won four straight games against the Blue Jackets and they are 7-1-1 against them in the last nine meetings between the teams.
- Pittsburgh has allowed just five goals to the Blue Jackets during its four-game winning streak.
- In the Penguins’ most-recent visit to Nationwide Arena, goaltender Jeff Zatkoff stopped all 19 shots he faced to record both his first NHL win and shutout.
- Pittsburgh has won three straight games at Nationwide Arena and it is 3-0-1 in its last four visits. The Penguins haven’t lost a game in regulation here since a 6-1 setback on Jan. 11, 2006.