Canes @ Pens Morning Skate Buzz; Letang timetable; Vitale back in lineup; Skinner to stay at center for Canes
Carolina Hurricanes (16-24-7, 39pts) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (23-17-4, 50pts)
MORNING SKATE REPORT
The buzz of today’s morning skate clearly centered around defenseman Kris Letang who participated in his first skate with the team since appearing in the Penguins morning skate at Madison Square Garden on Nov 29th. Letang last played on Nov 26th vs Montreal
Letang who is medically cleared to return to the lineup, was a full participant this morning, skating hard and even took some reps with the first power play unit
Although he could easily play tonight, the Penguins and Letang intend to remain cautious and not rush him back into the lineup. Sunday is viewed as the most likely target date after Letang gets a couple full practices under his belt. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if he returned before then. Letang indicated he dealt with dizziness and sickness at the start of his symptoms. “Obviously don’t want to rush back’ ” Letang said
Tonight’s goaltending matchup will feature Marc Andre Fleury vs Cam Ward. Carolina will use Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner down the middle tonight as their No 1 and No 2 centers. This will be the second straight game that Skinner who recently returned from a concussion, will play center. Skinner will center Jokinen and Ponikarovsky on the second line
For Pens, Joe Vitale will return to the lineup and take Arron Asham’s spot in the lineup on the 4th line. Asham is ill.
Kunitz – Malkin – Neal
Dupuis – Jeffrey – Kennedy
Sullivan – Park – Cooke
Tangradi – Vitale – Adams
Orpik – Engelland
Martin – Michalek
Niskanen – Lovejoy
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