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Pre-season Game #5: Penguins practice notes & lineup vs Blue Jackets

Practice Lines
SouthPointe, PA — The Penguins are going through a 50 minute practice as the team prepares for the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight for pre-season game #5..
Tonight’s Lineup
Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin
Fedotenk – Malkin – Kennedy
Cooke – Staal – Conner
Bissonnette – Rupp – Godard

Defensemen
Eaton – Guenin
McKee – Goligoski
Letang – Engelland
Fleury in net
Remaining Lines in today’s practice & Notes
Bayda – Adams – Dupuis
Gonchar – Orpik
* Assistant coach Tony Granato has been working with Paul Bissonnette on the side and today is more of the same. Pittsburgh would like to see Bissonnette develop into a reliable player on the PK
He’s been getting reps in practice and some pointers from Matt Cooke.
*Missing from Practice: Brent Johnson (knee) and Ben Lovejoy (shoulder)
Team just went through some breakout situations with tonight’s lineup. Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik were the extra pairing and will not play tonight.
Kris Letang has been paired with Deryk Engelland playing the left side. Guenin is working with Mark Eaton.
*The Penguins top power play unit for the season opener is going to be Guerin – Crosby – Malkin down low with Kris Letang and Sergei Gonchar at the points
That unit has been working exclusively for the past week in practice.
In 5-on-3 situations Chris Kunitz has replaced Kris Letang on the first unit with Malkin and Gonchar working the points.
At some point this season, the coaching staff would like Jordan Staal to develop into Kunit’z spot in the slot and around the net.
For now Kunitz gets the first look because the coaching staff like his hands around the net better.
Alex Goligoski will replace Gonchar tonight on the first unit and will push Letang for playing time on the top unit during the season.
*Dan Bylsma is giving defenseman Nate Guenin a lot of instruction today as the Guenin is going up against the Penguins 2nd power play unit of Chris Kunitz – Jordan Staal and Ruslan Fedotenko.
Guenin remains the front runner to win the No.7 defenseman spot.
*Near the end of almost every practice, 5-to-6 players work on face-offs. Tyler Kennedy has been getting extensive work on face-offs all training camp.
He will take a number of draws in the right circles while playing on Evgeni Malkin’s line.
*Of the players who were re-assigned yesterday afternoon, Tim Wallace was the only player drawing some interest from teams but Pittsburgh expects him to clear waivers.
Others who have to clear are Chris Lee, Wade Brookbank, Konstatin Pushkarev, Wyatt Smith.
*The team will board a bus to Columbus this afternoon.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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