POST-MORNING SKATE BUZZ
The Penguins will look to extend their winning streak to 12 games tonight without Evgeni Malkin (shoulder) once again. Malkin who has been skating with the team and did again this morning, had been targeting a return for this weekend but is still dealing with some pain in his shoulder, the Penguins center said after the morning skate.
Malkin was injured against the Maple Leafs on March 9th and will miss his 8th straight game. In a smart move, Malkin contends he won’t return until he is 100% and the pain in his shoulder goes away.
Defenseman Kris Letang has also been ruled out of the lineup, head coach Dan Bylsma confirmed. Letang who skated very well this morning, will miss his third straight game and appears very close to returning. Letang was injured against Boston last Sunday.
With Malkin and Letang still out and Tyler Kennedy returning to the lineup, the Penguins scratches tonight will be Evgeni Malkin (IR, shoulder), Kris Letang (leg), Trevor Smith (healthy) and Robert Bortuzzo (healthy). Tonight will mark the 12 straight game that Bortuzzo is a healthy scratch.
Bylsma on Hungry Flyers Team: “Their power play is very dangerous, near 22%. Expecting a hungry, dangerous Flyers team in our building tonight.”
Bylsma on third line identity: “In the last 15 games or so, it hasn’t been every game but numerous games where we’ve had Matt Cooke, Brandon Sutter, Tyler Kennedy play together and have a matchup role going against other teams top lines. Think they’ve done a good job at that and something we’ve looked at, not just a shutdown role, how they play and where they’ve played. Think they’ve done a good role in that assignment. That is going to continue going forward here.”
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Beau Bennett – Dustin Jeffrey – James Neal
Matt Cooke – Brandon Sutter – Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass – Joe Vitale – Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik – Paul Martin
Mark Eaton – Matt Niskanen
Simon Despres – Deryk Engelland
Marc Andre Fleury