The Penguins are in Chicago tonight for preseason game No. 3 and the next two preseason games are going to be about exploring some different combinations before the team cuts the roster by 12-15 players after Saturday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
*Dan Bylsma called Chuck Kobasew a bottom-6 player at the start of camp but tonight we’re going to see Kobasew get a great opportunity at right wing with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. If Kobasew earns a contract from the Penguins, he’s not going to be much of a candidate to play with Crosby, so from that standpoint, it doesn’t make much sense for him to play there tonight, but he is making a good impression on the coaching staff and he’s also showcasing himself around the league.
*Prior to today’s morning skate, it was thought that Beau Bennett would get his opportunity to play with Crosby, but Bennett is scheduled to skate on the third line with Brandon Sutter and Matt D’Agostino tonight. This is an ideal spot for Bennett to play in the regular season if Jussi Jokinen ends up being the better fit with Malkin and Neal. The plan is for Jokinen to skate with Malkin and Neal in Saturday’s home game vs Columbus.
*He’s not making the NHL roster out of camp but I’m hearing Jayson Megna has graded out well in camp from those whose opinions matter in the organization. The Penguins like that Megna is playing with more physicality and tonight he will skate on the third line with Joe Vitale and Dustin Jeffrey.
*Tonight could be Derrick Pouliot’s last preseason game as he’s a candidate to be sent back to juniors with the next round of cuts.
LINE & PAIRINGS THIS MORNING