Thursday’s Practice Report
The Penguins just concluded their first practice as they prepare for the Washington Capitals in round 2 of the NHL playoffs.
Petr Sykora or Miroslav Satan?
Discussion has centered around whether struggling forward Petr Sykora will get back into the lineup.
Throughout the entire practice this morning, Miroslav Satan skated on the second line with Ruslan Fedotenko and Evgeni Malkin.
Satan also skated with the Penguins second power play unit and based on everything I was told this week, Satan will be in the lineup on Saturday.
The rest of the lines were
Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Dupuis – Talbot – Adams
Extra Forwards: Godard, Sykora
* Petr Sykora was the extra forward during the entire set of drills and was not used on the power play in any situations.
Earlier this week, Bylsma indicated¬† Sykora would get into the lineup during parts of this series but the way it sounded was Sykora would replace Adams not Satan in the lineup.
*Goaltender Brad Thiessen was the Penguins third goaltender in practice today.
* With Donald Brashear suspended for the first 5 games of the series, Penguins enforcer Eric Godard will not get any consideration of getting into the lineup.
Bylsma has admitted, the suspension of Brashear has altered his lineup, making it likely that Godard was going to see some game time.
Guerin gets extra power play reps
Bill Guerin got more reps with the first power play unit today than he usually does in practice.
Penguins Power Play Units
1st unit: Kunitz/Guerin – Malkin – Crosby
Letang – Gonchar
2nd unit: Guerin – Staal – Satan
Boucher – Eaton
* Kris Letang has been inconsistent at the left point on the power play and while he saw the majority of time at the left point in today’s practice, Evgeni Malkin did play the left point in one situation with Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin down low. I don’t expect the Penguins to use that unit in game 1.
The Penguins power play was 4-for-29 in their first round series against Philadelphia
Gonchar – Orpik
Gill – Scuderi
Eaton – Letang
* It doesn’t appear Philippe Boucher is under any consideration to get into the lineup on Saturday, (atleast not in place of Kris Letang)¬†Kris Letang took the majority of the reps with Mark Eaton and Boucher did not get any power play time with the first unit, although he did work with the second unit.
Top prospect Eric Tangradi will be sidelined for the next 3-4 months and team officials remain optimistic that there won’t be any long-term issues. Team officials did admit the injury was severe, a reason surgery happened so quickly. ¬†We’ll hear more about this around the draft.