New York (22-19-8) @ Pittsburgh (30-19-1)
*The Pittsburgh Penguins just conducted their morning skate as the team prepares for the New York Islanders who come into the town on a four game winning streak.
*Defenseman Brooks Orpik (knee) will be a coaches decision tonight. Orpik has been cleared to play by team doctors and appears to be ready to go but the decision will come down to Dan Bylsma.
This morning the defensive pairings were Mark Eaton – Sergei Gonchar, Alex Goligoski – Kris Letang
with Brooks Orpik – Jay Mckee and Martin Skoula rotating as the third pairing. If Orpik plays as expected, Bylsma will likely alter his pairings.
Meanwhile, Pascal Dupuis skated on Sidney Crosby’s line for the second straight day. Dupuis returns to the Penguins top unit after Michael Rupp saw time with Crosby and Bill Guerin Saturday night.
Rupp will skate on the fourth line with Craig Adams and Eric Godard.
*Brent Johnson will start in goal tonight for the Penguins. There was a little bit of doubt after yesterday’s skate but Johnson looked much sharper today and will get the nod according to head coach Dan Bylsma.