PENGUINS (12-8-2) at SABRES (8-11-3)
Morning Skate Updates
No Sidney Crosby – Ryan Miller matchup tonight as Miller remains sidelined and will miss tonight’s game. The Penguins will face 22 year old goaltender Jhonas Enroth who is 2-1-1 on the season with a 3.42 GAA and .876 save percentage.
Brent Johnson (6-2-1) was scheduled to start tonight for the first time in seven games with the Penguins being on their dad’s trip, but he’s still battling the effects of an illness and will not play tonight, head coach Dan Bylsma said after the morning skate.
Therefore, Marc Andre Fleury will make his seventh straight start as the Penguins are in the midst of a 5-0-1 stretch.
The Pens will look to get Johnson a start this weekend, likely Friday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators at home.
Upfront the Sabres will be without forwards Tim Connolly (groin) and Rob Niedermayer (knee) and Drew Stafford (upper body)
Captain Craig Rivet will be a healthy scratch for Buffalo as his future in Buffalo appears to be up in the air. 22 year old defenseman Mike Weber who was born in Pittsburgh will appear in his 3rd game this season.
The Sabres have won three in a row on home ice, after starting the season 0-7-1 at home.
Tomas Vanek (8G-9A-17Pts) has points in seven consecutive games. Derek Roy leads the Sabres with 9 goals – 14 assists and 23 points.
Sabres Lines in morning skate
Vanek – Roy – Ennis
Pominville – Hecht – Gerbe
Stuart – Gaustad – Grier
McCormick – Adam – Kaleta
Leopold – Mayers
Montador – Sekera
Morrisonn – Weber
Starting Goaltender: Jhonas Enroth
Former Penguin Jordan Leopold is off to a strong start to the season, collecting 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points in 22 games.
Leopold is playing a top paring role and leads the Sabres in ice time, averaging 24:01 of ice time per game. He has a plus-4 rating on the season.
11:38 a.m. Pens – Morning Skate Updates
Based off the morning skate, it appears the Penguins will make no changes to their top-3 lines tonight as Max Talbot centered Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cooke on the second line during the Penguins morning skate which began just after 11:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, Chris Conner, Mark Letestu and Tyler Kennedy remained a unit on the third line.
Mike Comrie will be back in the lineup due to the Penguins being on their “dads” trip, but it remains to be seen if he will get much of an opportunity.
Comrie alternated on the 4th line with Arron Asham (likely to sit) but is expected to skate on the 2nd power play unit tonight.
Defenseman Deryk Engelland is back working with Alex Goligoski as the third pairing. Engelland will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch Monday night.
Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury will start in goal.
Lines in morning skate
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Cooke – Talbot – Malkin
Conner – Letestu – Kennedy
Rupp – Adams – Comrie/Asham
Orpik – Letang
Martin – Michalek
Goligoski – Engelland