Preparations begin for Red Wings
After an off-day on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins (28-14-4, 60pts) are back to work this morning riding a two game winning streak and coming off of two emotional road wins against the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
The Penguins are begining preparations for Tuesday’s showdown with the Detroit Red Wings who boast a 28-11-6, 62pts, record on the season in what could be a potential Stanley Cup preview.
The downfall of the matchup is that neither team is at full strength.
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy who has been the subject of message board trade speculation, is back on the ice this morning. Lovejoy has been sidelined for days with the flu and did not travel with the Penguins to Boston. The Penguins were not holding him off the ice last week for any potential trade in the works.
Sidney Crosby as expected remains sidelined due to a concussion and will miss his 6th straight game. There’s talk we probably won’t see him back until after the All-Star game.
No changes on the top-4 lines for the Penguins:
Kunitz – Malkin – Dupuis
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Conner – Talbot – Rupp
Asham – Letestu – Adams
Godard working his way back
Enforcer Eric Godard continues to go through individual workouts on his own with the Penguins staff as he recovers from a broken orbital bone he suffered on Dec. 26. He’s still not cleared for any contact.
Crosby’s points lead shrinking
Sidney Crosby’s (66pts) NHL points lead is now down to 5 points. Steven Stamkos has topped the 60+ point mark and enters Monday’s action with 61 points on the season.