Pens Practice Notes
Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang both returned to practice this morning. Malkin skated for about 15 minutes prior to today’s practice, working with head coach Dan Bylsma on shooting and skating drills.
Letang went through the same kind of workout and both have joined their teammates for practice.
Malkin looked strong with his skating but appeared to be favoring his knee somewhat during some shooting drills.
Malkin’s availability for Wednesday night will depend on how much pain he feels he can play with. He has been diagnosed with a knee bruise and is only expected to miss one more game at the most.
As practiced opened up, Letang has been taking a regular shift with D-partner Paul Martin during early line rushes.
Malkin though has been the extra forward on his unit.
Matt Cooke – Mike Comrie and Tyler Kennedy are working in as the second line with Malkin floating behind them as the extra forward during drills.
The rest of the lines as as followed:
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Cooke – Comrie – Kennedy/ (Malkin extra)
Asham – Letestu – Talbot
Rupp – Adams – Godard
The Penguins were pleased with the success of Mark Letestu and Arron Asham playing together Saturday night and it’s believed that there’s some thought that Matt Cooke could see some time with Malkin on the upcoming road trip.
Michalek Ready to Return
Defenseman Zbynek Michalek will return to the lineup, Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars. Michalek has not played since October 11th due to a right shoulder injury.
Michalek told me yesterday’s that he’s ready to go and he was working in as the top pairing today with Brooks Orpik.
Orpik and Michalek were paired together, followed by Martin – Letang and Engelland – Lovejoy
Goligoski sits out practice
Alex Goligoski was held out for a second straight day due to some soreness. Goligoski has been given quite a few maintaince days over the past couple weeks. He will travel with the team on their road trip and is not expected to miss any time.
Johnson to start Wednesday Night?
I hope to get official confirmation following practice but word is Brent Johnson is scheduled to start Wednesday and Saturday night on the road trip. At least that’s believed to be the plan.