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Penguins Report: Game Day at New Jersey

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins




GAME DAY REPORT



--Sam Kasan


PENS TV SOUND

Kris Letang



Sidney Crosby




--Sam Kasan


QUOTE 'EM




--Michelle Crechiolo


LINEUP UPDATES
Head coach Mike Johnston had a few lineup updates following morning skate...
  • He said Kris Letang is fine and there's no problem with him, so he'll play tonight against New Jersey. The defenseman had sat out yesterday's practice to let a bruise settle down.
  • Johnston said they will make a game-time decision about which defenseman to scratch.
  • Dominik Uher will be in at forward as Johnston said Beau Bennett is not quite ready to return.
  • Johnston added that Bennett "might be able to play Wednesday (vs. Carolina), but getting him one more team practice tomorrow I think would be really good and we’ll see where he’s at from there."
  • Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal vs. the Devils.
--Michelle Crechiolo


PENS PICS


Letang back on the ice. He's been dealing with a bruise and is a game-time decision tonight.


Dumoulin was recalled this morning from WBS.


Uher is to the Pens what Kafka is to Prague. Think about it...


Kuni: There are three kinds of accountants. Those who can count...and those who can't.


Malkin is built Ford tough


Bennett still working with the team, progressing to a return


Show me sexy....click


Tocchet shows the PP unit how to draw a cat on a dry erase board.


Letang investigates a washed ashore whale crying for help.


Sid: Wanna hear two short jokes and a long joke? Joke. Joke. Joooooooooooooke.

--Sam Kasan & Michelle Crechiolo


MORNING SKATE INFO
All expected participants were on the ice for the Penguins' morning skate at Prudential Center, including defenseman Kris Letang, who missed practice yesterday as he's dealing with a bruise and is a game-time decision for tonight, and the recently recalled Dominik Uher and Brian Dumoulin.

The Pens started their morning skate with power-play breakouts. With Patric Hornqvist out, the first unit went with three forwards and two defensemen: Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Pouliot and Letang. The second was Despres, Bortuzzo, Sutter, Spaling and Rust.

The other lines were Megna-Goc-Bennett, Klinkhammer-Ebbett-Farnham, and the remaining three D (Harrington, Scuderi and Dumoulin) rotated through.

--Michelle Crechiolo


CROSBY, MALKIN KNOW THEY MUST STEP UP
The Penguins suffered yet another big blow on Sunday when they learned that top-six winger Patric Hornqvist will be out the next few weeks after leaving Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury.

Hornqvist joins an already-long list of injured/sick players that includes defensemen Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff and Olli Maatta, forwards Craig Adams, Beau Bennett, Blake Comeau, Steve Downie, Pascal Dupuis, Zach Sill and Scott Wilson and goaltender Thomas Greiss.

But despite everything they’re dealing with – and it’s certainly a whole heck of a lot – the Penguins still have their core group of players in the lineup, headlined by franchise centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. And while those two can’t do it all themselves, they do know they’re the ones who have to step up and lead their team through all the injuries.

“It’s a bad loss yesterday (losing) ‘Horny,’” Malkin said. “Of course it’s a tough time right now, every game we lose a couple guys, but we still have a good team. ‘Flower’ (Marc-Andre Fleury) is playing very well and me, ‘Sid,’ ‘Kuni’ (Chris Kunitz) and ‘Tanger’ (Kris Letang), we just (need to) show how we can play.”



Full story here.

--Michelle Crechiolo


SCOUTING THE DEVILS
There has been A LOT going on with New Jersey, who have the fourth-worst points total in the NHL, as they fired head coach Peter DeBoer the day after Christmas and are currently dealing with a mumps outbreak of their own. Here's what you need to know about the Devils...



--Michelle Crechiolo


DIGITAL PREVIEW
Here's a few notes in infograph form for you visual learners...



--Michelle Crechiolo


START THE DAY
Good morning from New Jersey! The Penguins are in Newark getting ready to play the Devils tonight at Prudential Center. Both teams have been dealing with rashes of the mumps. Steve Downie and Thomas Greiss are both out for Pittsburgh with the illness (Sidney Crosby, Beau Bennett and Olli Maatta all had it as well), while Patrik Elias and Michael Ryder were the third and fourth Devils to test positive for the disease on Saturday.

In addition, the Penguins suffered yet another loss when they learned yesterday that Patric Hornqvist would be out a few weeks with a lower-body injury. They've been dealing with a lot lately, but need to find a way to snap their three-game winless streak and get a couple of points tonight.

Here's a few notes to get you ready for tonight...
  • The Penguins play their final road game of the 2014 calendar year against the New Jersey Devils.
  • 
Tonight the Penguins are looking to end a four-game road winless stretch, although Pittsburgh has managed to get points in three of the four contests (0-1-3).
  • The Penguins also still possess the NHL’s top road points percentage (.688 pct.).

  • This year the Penguins have won both meetings against the Devils by a combined 9-3 score.

  • The Penguins scored a season-high eight goals on Oct. 28 at CONSOL Energy Center. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 29 shots he faced in a 1-0 Pittsburgh win on Dec. 2. Evgeni Malkin had the lone tally that night.
  • 
The Penguins are looking to end a four-game losing streak against the Devils here at the Prudential Center. Pittsburgh’s last win in this building was a 5-2 victory on March 17, 2012.
--Michelle Crechiolo
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