The Penguins held a Friday morning practice at Southpointe. The only players missing were forwards James Neal (upper body) and Beau Bennett (lower body) and goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot).
Forward Matt D'Agostini (lower body) and defenseman Kris Letang (lower body) both skated and coach Dan Bylsma said they are "back in full practice."
"Matt's still on the long-term IR, I think (he is eligible to return on) the 28th. Kris is in that progression of back in full practice, which is a positive sign for him," Bylsma said.
The visiting Vancouver Canucks held a 1:15 p.m. practice at Southpointe. Neither team will
have a morning skate prior to their Saturday afternoon game at CONSOL Energy Center.
GLASS SET TO FACE OLD TEAM
Forward Tanner Glass is set to face his former team on Saturday. Glass talked after practice about his experience in Vancouver and said he looks forward to playing against many former teammates and friends.
“I think Canada in general is pretty pressured-packed, but the fan base is very knowledgeable,” Glass said. “You combine those two things and it makes for a pressure-packed environment, but also one I enjoyed playing in.”
Glass, who became a regular in the NHL with Vancouver during the 2009-10 season, said he can provide some insight into the tendencies of certain Canucks players but the team scope is limited due to head coach John Tortorella, relieved of his duties with the New York Rangers in May, taking over prior to the season.
“Obviously you look at the twins (Henrik and Daniel Sedin) as guys you have to shut down,” Glass said. “They have that unique passing ability to each other and have that sixth sense in knowing where each other are on the ice, so if we shut those guys down I think we'll have a chance to win. But you've got (Ryan) Kesler going at times and they can score from the back end, too.”
Head coach Dan Bylsma said the preliminary reports show this Vancouver squad, who the Penguins have not played in just over two years (the last meeting was October 6, 2011), resemble Tortorella’s Rangers teams more so than Canucks teams under former head coach Alain Vigneault.
“This is really a check of what the Rangers did last year,” Bylsma explained. “I think we’ve seen already just in the scout to this point the tendencies of a John Tortorella-coached team and what they do. That is more likely where we are going to turn for our help in this game.”
Written by: Dave Uhrmacher & Michelle Crechiolo