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Insider Only Letang to play; Penguins make changes on the power play

Philadelphia (15-15-1) @ Pittsburgh (22-10-1)
Morning Skate Update: Defenseman Kris Letang practiced this morning after missing yesterday’s skate. Letang has been battling an illness and continues to be bothered by a nagging upper body injury.
However, Letang took his usual reps with Mark Eaton and will play tonight against Philadelphia.
With 13 healthy forwards, Pittsburgh’s healthy scratch tonight is expected to be Max Talbot or Eric Godard. Dan Bylsma is keeping things close to the vest.
Godard and Talbot alternated at right wing on line rushes this morning as both players skated on the fourth line with Michael Rupp and Craig Adams. Based on performance, Craig Adams should be a candidate to sit but Max Talbot has not been used at center this year in games or in practice.
Penguins revamp 29th ranked power play
Pittsburgh gets their first opportunity to unleash their revamped power play tonight against Philadelphia as the Penguins top two units have a much different look.

Dan Bylsma will finally move Evgeni Malkin to the left side as Malkin worked the left point this morning for the second consecutive day. Sergei Gonchar will join Evgeni Malkin at the point, while Bill Guerin – Matt Cooke and Sidney Crosby will play down low.
What we saw this morning and yesterday in practice is Bill Guerin now playing in the high slot instead of the left post, with Matt Cooke being the primary player in front of the net and the primary puck retriever.
Pittsburgh has worked on a number of set plays the past two days and at least in practice, Evgnei Malkin has looked comfortable at the left point. In a few new formations, Malkin and Gonchar flip sides with the primary play of setting Malkin up for a one-timer at the right point.
However, there appears to be more of an emphasis of using Bill Guerin as a decoy in the high slot to create some lanes. I like the added creativity and we’ll see if the Penguins get some much needed results tonight. It’s a start…..
Power Play units this morning
1st unit: Guerin – Cooke – Crosby
Malkin – Gonchar
2nd unit: Kunitz – Staal – Fedotenko
Letang – Goligoski
Tonight’s Lineup
Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin
Fedotenko – Malkin – Dupuis
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Rupp – Adams – Godard or Talbot
Defensemen
Orpik – Gonchar
Eaton – Letang
McKee – Goligoski
*Marc Andre Fleury (18-8-1, 2.43 GAA) will start in goal.
Quote of the day: “I’m sure their {Flyers} looking at this game as a rival game” —-Sidney Crosby on the Flyers struggles

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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