Sunday Practice Report
After an off-day on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins are back on the ice this morning at the Consol Energy Center.
Top line winger
Chris Kunitz is practicing with the team and skating for the first time since Tuesday’s morning skate in Philadelphia. Kunitz has missed the past two games due to an undisclosed injury.
Pittsburgh has a full squad (active players) on the ice this morning.
Jordan Staal and Mike Comrie are not practicing, as expected. Staal has not skated since Tuesday, December 7th and is currently not permitted to skate. Staal was previously going through individual workouts before his latest setback, more than 10 days ago.
Staal is now once again wearing protective casing on his injured hand and his hand is also bandaged.
Comrie’s status remains a mystery as it’s turned from a day-to-day injury to now a week-to-week injury.
With Kunitz back anchoring the 1st line at left wing, Evgeni Malkin is back to skating on the second line. Malkin is centering Max Talbot and Matt Cooke this morning.
Defenseman Deryk Engelland has been a healthy scratch in 2 of the last 3 games. He is back working in as the 3rd pair with Alex Goligoski. Ben Lovejoy is the extra defenseman this morning, skating with Eric Godard.
Engelland should be back into the lineup tomorrow night over Ben Lovejoy.
Kunitz – Crosby – Kunitz
Cooke – Malkin – Talbot
Conner – Letestu – Kennedy
Rupp – Adams – Asham
Orpik – Letang
Martin – Michalek
Goligoski – Engelland
Lovejoy – Godard
Evgeni Malkin is skating extremely well, probably the best I’ve seen him skate in over a month. He seems to be getting a lot of power from his injured knee.
Chris Kunitz is also skating well and should be back in the lineup tomorrow night.
The Penguins will enter the week with 13 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goaltenders.
*The Penguins enter Sunday’s action with 44 points and have quickly fallen 5 points behind division and conference leader Philadelphia (49 points) whose riding a 5 game winning streak after Saturday’s 4-1 win over the New York Rangers.
The Penguins begin a 3 games in 4 night stretch starting tomorrow night against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Penguins wrap up their stretch Thursday night against the Washington Capitals for the first matchup between the two teams this season. The Capitals are in free fall, losing their 8th straight game last night.