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Pens Report: The Boys are Back

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

With the Pens making 17 cuts on Monday and the last two World Cup participants - Sidney Crosby and Carl Hagelin - practicing on Tuesday, the team now has what head coach Mike Sullivan called "a reasonable working number at this point."

- They immediately began work on special teams, starting practice with power-play reps. The units looked like this…

1) Letang, Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Hornqvist

2) Daley, Schultz, Bonino, Sheary, Kunitz

"We really haven't spent a lot of time on it up to this point. Probably for obvious reasons, we haven't had a lot of the complement of players that we use on it," Sullivan said. "Now that we have everybody back we'll spend a fair amount of time on the special teams. … There's plenty of time. We looked at this well in advance and sketched it out before the whole thing started. We're right where we want to be right now. We're comfortable with what we've accomplished to this point. We'll continue to start pushing through our system play and our team concept. The good thing for us is we've got a lot of returning players. I think there's a lot of familiarity with how we want to play. I think we should be able to pick things up fairly quickly."

 

- They later did line rushes, and the combinations looked like this…

Kunitz-Crosby-Sheary

Wilson-Malkin-Hornqvist

Kuhnhackl-Cullen-Fehr

Hagelin-Bonino-Kessel

Guentzel/Sestito-Rowney-Porter

Cole-Schultz

Dumoulin-Letang

Maatta-Daley

Cole-Schultz

Pouliot-Warsofsky

Of his approach to putting line combinations together, Sullivan said "We've got a starting point here, we'll see where it goes. We'll see how everyone does. But we're trying to put people together we think have complementary skill sets we think have a chance to be successful. We're hopeful that some of the combinations that we put together to this point will be successful. We'll watch and see and go from there."

 

- A combination that intrigues Sullivan is Wilson with Malkin. "I think he can shoot. I think he can score. I think he has a nose for the net," Sullivan said of Wilson. "'Geno is a very good set-up guy and I think Scott has the ability to get to the areas of the rink at the right times to give himself a chance to shoot. We'd like to see if that might have an opportunity to work."

 

- Injured forward Bryan Rust, who had been on Malkin's wing during the playoffs, skated on his own Tuesday. Sullivan said he has been skating on his own for a while.

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