GAME DAY REPORT
Myself, Sam and Trib Total Media's Rob Rossi come together to bring you updates in the Verizon Game Day Report.
Looks like it will be Johan Hedberg between the pipes for Jersey.
In honor of Hedberg's start, here's a pic from the way back machine when he first played for the Pens in 2001 with the blue "Moose" mask.
(Getty Images)--Sam Kasan
COACHSPEAK WITH DAN BYLSMA...
Head coach Dan Bylsma gave a few updates...
- Niskanen is 14 days into his 2-4 week recovery period and is progressing
- Letang is day-to-day
- Morrow recalled for insurance because the team has "bumps and bruises"
- Lineup is game-time
- Vokoun starting in net
I'll add that Letang was placed on IR retroactive to Feb. 5. A player must remain on IR for one week and then can be activated at any point after that. The player can remain on IR for longer than a week, but once the player has met the week-long requirement he can be activated at any time. So essentially Letang could be reactived any time after Tuesday. --Sam Kasan
Tony Granato runs the practice
Granato vs. Fleury
Kennedy bends the twig
Boychuk rips a shot--Wes Crosby
Returning to practice with his teammates is just the next step in Matt Niskanen’s recovery from a lower-body injury.
“It feels good to be out with the team again,” Niskanen said following Sunday’s optional morning skate, jokingly adding, “(Strength and conditioning coach) Mike Kadar does a good job, but that gets old pretty quickly.”
Niskanen sustained the injury on Sunday, Jan. 27 in Ottawa and is exactly 14 days into his 2-4 week projected recovery time. While he said it is “feeling better,” Niskanen said there is still work to do.
“I’ve been able to do more and more things on the ice every day,” Niskanen said. “I’d like to think I’m close, but we’ll just have to wait and see how I progress. Got a few more steps to take.”
MORNING SKATE INFO
The Pens held an optional morning skate. Players that participated were forwards Jeffrey, Tangradi, Vitale, Adams, Boychuk, Glass, Kennedy and Sutter, defensemen Niskanen, Engelland, Bortuzzo, Reese, Orpik and Despres and goalies Fleury and Vokoun.
Niskanen has been skating on his own the past few days. He joined his teammates for practice for the first time today. He's been out of the lineup since Jan. 27 with a lower-body injury.
The Pens recalled D-man Joe Morrow from WBS.
Morrow, 20, will be looking to make his NHL debut Sunday night against New Jersey. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound blueliner has spent his first professional season with WBS, tallying 10 points (2G-8A) in 39 games played. Morrow, who was drafted by the Penguins in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, has posted two points (1G-1A) and a plus-5 rating over his last nine AHL games.Full story here.
START THE DAY
The Pens are hosting the New Jersey Devils in the backend of a back-to-back home-and-home series. The Devils triumphed 3-1 Saturday afternoon in the Garden State, thanks in part to the Penguins taking 10 penalties. With that victory, the Devils now have a one-point lead in the Atlantic Division race.
The last time these two teams met in Pittsburgh, the Pens won decisively, 5-1, Feb. 2.
Since we are playing New Jersey, I feel morally obligated to open the day with Bruce Springsteen. So here is "I'm on Fire."