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Insider Only Scrimmage Recap: Team (B) wins 3 – 0

Jordan Staal (Team B) got on the board first, scoring on a nice feed from Simon Despres in front of the net.
Pittsburgh had a scare early, as Matt Cooke had a knee-to-knee on Kris Letang. Letang was slow to get up but appears to be fine.
Staal’s line continued their strong play in the second period creating the second goal of the game. Robert Bortuzzo fired a shot from the point and it appeared Cooke deflected the puck past Parise for his 1st goal of the scrimmage.
Wade Brookbank added an empty net goal on a Kris Letang turnover with under 2 minutes to play. The scrimmage only lasted 40 minutes.
Analysis on Tangradi, Bayda, Lovejoy, Lee, Despres & more in TIOPS Post-Scrimmage Report.
The Malkin line has controlled the puck very well. Tyler Kennedy has shown good chemistry with Malkin and has been excellent on the back check thus far.
Ruslan Fedotenko looks very comfortable playing alongside Malkin. He should produce at a higher level this season under Dan Bylsma.
Two sleepers in camp thus far have been forward Chris Connor and

defenseman Chris Lee. Connor made an elusive move beating Mark Eaton on one occasion setting up Wyatt Smith wide open in front who somehow didn’t bury it. The problem with Connor is that he’s on the small side and likely doesn’t have a position on the big club.
*Lee has been matched up against Staal’s line at times and has held his own. Interesting player to keep on eye throughout camp. Intercepted two passes in the neutral zone. Has good awarness.
*Simon Despres has been solid on the breakout. Jumped up in the play to set up Staal. Had a turnover or two in the defensive zone but he’s a very talented player. Very good positioning for such a young defenseman
*Ryan Bayda’s a smart fore-checker, caused a few turnovers. He’s been told by management that he will have an opportunity to make this team. He is vying for a final roster spot along with a number of players including Tim Wallace, Dustin Jeffrey, Paul Bissonnette.
*Eric Tangradi was very tentative. Possessed the puck down low behind the net well but his passed were off the mark on a number of occasions. He became frustrated at times in practice too. His shot and hands are still not 100% yet. Going through the learning curves.
He skated on a line with Wyatt Smith and Chris Connor.
*Ben Lovejoy was solid in his own end. Made a nice stop on Evgeni Malkin at the top of the circles as Malkin tried to put the puck through Lovejoy’s feet.
Prospect Joe Vitale is a player that knows his role. Uses his speed very well on the fore-check.
Keven Veilleux is off to a good start. A team scout tells me Veilleux reminds him of Viktor Kozlov with a stronger commitment to playing a two-way game.
Two lines of regulars are expected to play in tomorrow’s preseason opener.

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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