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Insider Only Pens @ Canes: Malkin out, Godard in; Johnson in goal

Penguins (5-5-1) @Hurricanes (5-4-0)

6:57 p.m. – Evgeni Malkin will sit out tonight’s game due to a right knee injury.
The Penguins were pretty optimistic Malkin would be able to play and Dan Bylsma said a few hours before warmups that things were looking good for Malkin to play but after testing his injured knee in warmups, Malkin won’t be able to play.
Enforcer Eric Godard will return to the lineup in place of Malkin.
Pens Lineup
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Asham – Letestu – Comrie
Cooke – Talbot – Kennedy
Rupp – Adams – Godard
Orpik – Engelland
Martin – Letang
Goligoski – Lovejoy
Starting Goaltender: Brent Johnson
From Earlier: 2:40 p.m.

The Penguns and Hurricanes both played Friday night. Pittsburgh lost 3-2 at home to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 on the road behind a 2 goal performance from 2010 first round pick Jeff Skinner. It was the first multi-goal game for the 18 year old rookie.
*The Penguins did not hold a morning skate. Head coach Dan Bylsma will meet with the media around 5:00 p.m. this afternoon.
*Evgeni Malkin will be a game time decision tonight but I’m told the Penguins are confident that he will play.
He reportedly has a knee bruise and the injury is nothing more than a bruise which is causing some discomfort. If Malkin misses anytime, it will likely be a game at the most.

Eric Godard will replace Malkin if he is unable to go. Both players will skate in warmups as Malkin will test his injury.
*Brent Johnson will get the start against Carolina. Johnson is 4-0-1 on the season with a 1.39 GAA and .951 Save percentage. Johnson was informed before Thursday’s practice that he would start against Carolina.
Marc Andre Fleury has started three of the past four games, posting a 1-2 record.
*Bylsma has been shaking up lines quite often of late. Sidney Crosby’s linemates at certain points in yesterday’s game included Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy, Matt Cooke, Mark Letestu, Evgeni Malkin and Arron Asham. I’m probably missing a player or two also.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tyler Kennedy get a few more looks with Crosby tonight. Kennedy has seen some time with Crosby near the end of the past handful of games.
*Mike Comrie began Friday’s game on the 4th line but quickly found his way back onto the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Mark Letestu. Comrie assisted on Kris Letang’s 1st period tally
*After a two point game last night, Kris Letang is second on the team with 11 points and has a team high 8 assists and plus-8 rating.
*Rookie center Mark Letestu (7 points) is pointless in his last 4 games.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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