VERIZON GAME DAY REPORT
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
--Dave Uhrmacher & Sam Kasan
No more mullet for 68... A sad day.
Schneider will be in net tonight
-- MIchelle Crechiolo & Dave Uhrmacher
Pens head coach Dan Bylsma said that defenseman Brooks Orpik did some light skating as part of his protocol. But he is still experiencing concussion-like symptoms.
"Earlier this morning Brooks Orpik had a light exercise on the ice in an environment that he's used to as part of his protocol," Bylsma said. "He's symptomatic at this point in time with his concussion. The light skate was just protocol to stay active."
Bylsma noted that the skate wasn't an indication of progression, just to keep Orpik active. There is still no timeframe for his return.
"Brooks is a guy where there are injuries that he's played with that are pretty substantial; He's played right through them," Bylsma said. "We've seen that with his groins and hips in the past, in the playoffs and earlier this year he's had injuries that no one really knew about. He played right through. He's a tough guy, tough customer. He's got a high tolerance for pain. But a concussion, you're not really dealing with pain. You're dealing with symptoms and those types of things. Those have to be monitored, and are being (monitored) by people much smarter about it than I."
Despres catches up with an old friend
Neal and Duper with forward guru Tony Granato
Flower protects the post
Letang and Fleury enjoy a laugh before the skate
Will Dumoulin make his NHL debut tonight?
Sid practicing his goal-scoring pose for later
Conner patrolling the neutral zone
MORNING SKATE INFO
All the Pens healthy players were on the ice for the team's morning skate. Here is the workflow...
PP1: Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Jokinen, Kunitz
PP2: Niskanen, Maatta, Sutter, Dupuis, Kobasew
For a preview on all of tonight's action click here. If you're coming to the game here is the fan guide.
START THE DAY
Good morning hockey fans! Tonight the Pens will host the New Jersey Devils in what could be the final time winger Jaromir Jagr plays hockey in the city of Pittsburgh. Here are some game notes to get you started...
- The Penguins end their two-game homestand against the New Jersey Devils (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio: 105.9 the X) at CONSOL Energy Center.
- Pittsburgh enters tonight’s game riding a season-high six-game home winning streak that is the longest active streak in the NHL.
- Monday night’s 2-1 win against Columbus marked just the third time in 16 home games that the Penguins failed to score three or more goals.
- The Penguins have won three of their last four home games against the Devils and seven of the previous nine.
- Pittsburgh and New Jersey will conclude the season series against one another on Dec. 31 at the Prudential Center.
- Tonight the Penguins begin their seventh set of back-to-back games. Thus far they have a cumulative record of 7-5–including 4-2 the first night and 3-3 in the second game.
- Pittsburgh swept its most recent set of back-to-backs, defeating Tampa Bay, 3-0, on Nov. 29 and then besting the Florida Panthers, 5-1, the next day.
Stick tap: Pens PR
We'll open the day with a classic (and fitting since the Pens are hosting the Devils, although not in Georgia, but nothing is perfect). Here is Charlie Daniels Band playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" live at the Grand Ole Opry.