MAPLE LEAFS (17-14-3, 37 pts) @ PENGUINS (23-10-1, 47 pts)
MORNING SKATE BUZZ
The Pittsburgh Penguins depleted by injuries will be forced to send a lineup out there tonight that you normally see in a preseason game.
Seven players who started the season in the AHL, will be in the lineup tonight in Jason Megna, Harry Zolnierczyk, Chris Conner, Zach Sill, Brian Dumoulin, Simon Despres, and Philip Samuelsson.
The latest round of injuries include Evgeni Malkin who will miss tonight’s game due to a leg injury and Kris Letang who missed Saturday’s game and was placed on injured reserve with what is believed to be a shoulder injury. Letang will miss at least a week and could return after Christmas break, per Bylsma.
Malkin is officially listed as day to day. Good news is that neither player appears to have a long-term injury as in missing “several weeks”.
SOME NOTES FROM THE SKATE
— The goaltending matchup tonight will be Jonathan Bernier vs Marc Andre Fleury.
— Jussi Jokinen moves back to the center position and will center the second line with Harry Zolnierczyk and Jason Megna on the wings.
— Philip Samuelsson makes his NHL debut and will be paired with Simon Despres. The two were partners in Wilkes Barre.
— Brian Dumoulin will be put in a big role tonight, playing the point on the top power play unit with Matt Niskanen up high and Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Jussi Jokinen down low.
— Olli Maatta – Matt Niskanen will be the Penguins top pairing tonight.
— Rob Scuderi was a full participant in today’s morning skate along with Tanner Glass. Both will not play tonight. Scuderi is targeting next weeks set of games, December 27th vs the Hurricanes being the specific target I hear. Tanner Glass is 3-5 days away from returning per Bylsma.
— Brooks Orpik skated again prior to the morning skate.
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Harry zolnierczyk – Jussi Jokinen – Jason Megna
Chris Conner – Brandon Sutter – Joe Vitale
Craig Adams – Zach Sill – Chuck Kobasew
Olli Maatta – Matt Niskanen
Brian Dumoulin – Robert Bortuzzo
Simon Despres – Philip Samuelsson
Marc Andre Fleury