Minnesota Wild (20-15-5, 45pts) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (26-12-4, 56pts)
Penguins center Sidney Crosby, as expected, is out for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild and will miss the next couple of games.
Crosby who has been diagnosed with a concussion, will talk with the media shortly. I’d expect him to say that he had no concussion symptoms before the Tampa Bay game as the Penguins want it out there that the concussion isn’t a result from the Steckel injury since he played against Tampa.
Meanwhile, the Penguins altered their 2nd line and Matt Cooke will return to the lineup tonight but it appears the Penguins won’t have Evgeni Malkin at 100 percent.
Malkin has been testing his left knee for most of the skate and left the ice for about five minutes but did return and go through most of the skate. However, he’s clearing lingering a bit and appears to have re aggravated his knee injury against the Montreal Canadiens. Not serious but he’s a little banged up right now.
Malkin did work with the 1st power play unit that included Chris Kunitz – Mark Letestu and Malkin down low with Alex Goligoski and Kris Letang at the points.
Here’s tonight’s projected lines based off the skate, assuming Malkin plays
Kunitz – Letestu – Dupuis
Cooke – Staal – Malkin
Conner – Talbot – Kennedy
Rupp – Adams – Asham
*The Penguins to this point have not made a callup up front.
The Minnesota Wild recalled goaltender Anton Khudobin this morning as Niklas Backstrom will not dress.
Jose Theodore will start in goal for Minnesota. Theodore is 7-5-2 on the season with a 2.63 GAA and .916 save percentage. Theodore has won three straight games and is 18-4-2 in his career against Pittsburgh.
According to the Penguins, they are 21-11-8 without Sidney Crosby in the lineup.