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Insider Only Morning Skate Buzz: Pens not at full strength for tilt with Bruins; Picard back up; Engelland out

Morning Skate Buzz

The Pittsburgh Penguins will not be at full strength tonight against the Boston Bruins in a matchup of arguably the top two Cup contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Pittsburgh remains hit with injuries on the backend as Deryk Engelland is the latest to be on the shelf. Engelland is not skating this morning and will not play tonight vs the Bruins. Tonight would have marked Deryk Engelland’s 100th career game.
Kris Letang will also miss his 4th straight game due to lingering symptoms from a head shot against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 26th that resulted in a broken nose.
Zbynek Michalek will also miss his 4th straight game.
The team has recalled defenseman Alexandre Picard in what is now his third stint with the team this season. Picard has appeared in seven games with the Penguins, posting a +5 rating, averaging 12:51 of ice time. He will play tonight but isn’t in Pittsburgh yet for the skate.
Rookies Robert Bortuzzo and Simon Despres remain up with the club and will play tonight.
The good news for the Penguins is that Jordan Staal is skating and is expected to play.
The Penguins come into tonight’s game with 118 man games lost.

Lines

Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Sullivan – Malkin – Neal
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Asham – Vitale – Adams
*Notes: Richard Park who’s had two straight strong outings, is not participating in the skate. There has been no explanation from the team at this point.
Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury (14-4-2) is eyeing his 15th win of the season tonight and 199th win of his career. He’s on track to become the 4th youngest goaltender to reach 200 victories. Fleury is 7-4-2 in his career vs the Bruins.

Milestones Watch

Sidney Crosby 1 game-winning goal shy of tying Kevin Stevens (27 GWG) for fifth place on the team’s all-time list.
Pascal Dupuis 2 points from 300 and 5 games from 700
Arron Asham 2 points to 200
Brooks Orpik 2 games from tying Ron Francis for 10th place on the team’s all-time games played list (533)
Evgeni Malkin (442 pts) can surpass Marty Straka (442) for 9th on the Penguins All-time Points list.

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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