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Penguins Report: Game Day at New Jersey

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins




GAME DAY REPORT



--Sam Kasan


PENS TV SOUND

Sidney Crosby



Maxim Lapierre




--Sam Kasan


THEY SAID IT





--Michelle Crechiolo


LINEUP UPDATES
Penguins head coach Mike Johnston said that defenseman Christian Ehrhoff went back to Pittsburgh to see their doctors and that they would probably have an update on him tomorrow (Saturday).

Ehrhoff had left in the third period of Wednesday's game against Washington when he hit his head on the ice after being knocked down by Alex Ovechkin. Ehrhoff had been trying to check the Capitals winger, who deflected him away.

"(Ehrhoff) hit his head on the ice, so in reviewing that, what happens is the standard protocol and our doctors look at the hit," Johnston explained. "Once they see there’s any head contact with the glass, any head contact with the ice, then they go through the typical protocol. With him landing on the ice the way he did, they just thought he’s going to be out for tonight’s game, so let’s get him back to Pittsburgh where he can be evaluated instead of dragging him on the road trip."

That means Scott Harrington will step in on defense.

In addition, Johnston said that Beau Bennett would be a healthy scratch tonight against the Devils. The winger had played 12 straight games after missing 16 in a row with a lower-body injury (and he had the mumps during that period as well). Mark Arcobello will slot back in after sitting out on Wednesday.

"When you have 13 forwards you're always making decisions as to what you think could help you for a particular game," Johnston said. "Depending on what's happening with your lineup, that's a decision we made for tonight. Sometimes it's not only what they don't offer. It's about your competition, what you're trying to do that particular night. And with Beau, I just thought his last couple games could be improved." 

--Michelle Crechiolo


PENS PICS


Hornqvist is all smiles since his return


Perron looking through the tinted visor


Crosby doesn't appreciate something taking place to his left


If Ehrhoff can't go, Harrington will be inserted into the lineup


Maximus from Gladiator


Fleury with the glove save. Great photo Meesh!!


Bench talk


More bench talk

--Sam Kasan & Michelle Crechiolo


MORNING SKATE INFO
The only absent Pens player from the morning skate is defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Here was the team's workflow...

Kunitz-Crosby-Perron
Spaling-Sutter-Hornqvist
Arcobello-Lapierre-Downie
Sill-Ebbett-Adams

Bennett only did one rush with the fourth line. The six defensemen kept switching it up.

--Sam Kasan


GET TO KNOW LAPIERRE
Forward Maxim Lapierre played his first game with the Pens on Wednesday in Washington after being traded to Pittsburgh from St. Louis for Marcel Goc on Tuesday.

The only Penguin Lapierre already knew coming in was defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, as the two of them were teammates in Vancouver. Lapierre wasn’t particularly familiar with any of the other guys, but had battled against a lot of them on the ice – especially captain Sidney Crosby.

“I’ll buy him dinner,” Lapierre grinned. “I think everything will be fine that way … It’s always a weird situation to play in front of guys you don’t really know. But I think they know me. I’ve been around a long time now and they know what I’m going to bring.”

They most certainly do, as Lapierre is the kind of player who makes his presence felt to his opponents.

Full story here.

--Michelle Crechiolo


SCOUTING THE DEVILS
Since I'm on the road, my boss Sam Kasan took care of scouting the Devils. Here's what's been going on with Jersey's team...



--Michelle Crechiolo


DIGITAL PREVIEW
Here's a few game notes in infograph form, courtesy of the Pens communications staff.



--Michelle Crechiolo


START THE DAY
Good morning from Newark! The team had the day off yesterday as we spent the afternoon traveling here from Washington, D.C. on a train, which was awesome. The coaches and management were in the first car, staff members were in the middle and the players were in the back (except for a few stragglers that rode with us). Now they're at Prudential Center for their 11:30 a.m. morning skate as they get ready to play the Devils here tonight. The Pens will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 4-0 loss to the Capitals at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

Here's a few game notes to get you ready for the matchup...
  • The Penguins complete a two-game road trip against the New Jersey Devils (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio 105.9 The X) at the Prudential Center.
  • 
Pittsburgh is in the midst of a stretch where it is playing seven of nine games on the road, beginning with Wednesday night’s loss in Washington.
  • The home team has won all three games this year in the series between the Penguins and Devils. The home team has actually won the last eight games in the series.
  • 
The Penguins are 8-2 in their last 10 home games against the Devils, but just 1-8-1 in their last 10 trips here to the Prudential Center.

I was going to try and start the blog by asking Billy Guerin what his favorite Bruce Springsteen song was and just playing that, but I couldn't find him this morning. Instead, let's start the day with a cool photo our PensTV video producer Mark Cottington took of Kris Letang boarding the train.



--Michelle Crechiolo
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