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Insider Only Wednesday Practice Report: Rupp gets a look on top line

Goligoski to return to lineup Thursday night
SouthPointe _ Forward Max Talbot has been demoted to the 4th line and the Penguins are exploring the possibility of playing forward Michael Rupp with Sidney Crosby and Bill Guerin tomorrow night against Montreal.
Rupp got an extensive look with Crosby, Guerin today in a number of drills as the Penguins prepare for the Montreal Canadiens.
Rupp alternated with Chris Kunitz on the left side but the coaching staff is expected to keep Kunitz out of the lineup for at least one more game.
The Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal units will remain the same tomorrow night while Max Talbot is expected to skate on the 4th line with Craig Adams and Eric Godard.
*Defenseman Alex Goligoski had an excellent practice and will return to the lineup Thursday night. With Goligoski set to return, a defenseman will have to sit but it’s not a foregone conclusion that Martin Skoula will be the odd man out most nights, when the Penguins are healthy.
Pittsburgh’s top two pairings in practice today were Brooks Orpik – Sergei Gonchar, Jay McKee – Alex Goligoski.

Sources tell me Pittsburgh’s scratch tomorrow night will come from the group of Mark Eaton – Kris Letang or Skoula. Those three alternated throughout the practice and while Skoula will likely be scratched Thursday night, Bylsma has a ton of confidence in Skoula and has claimed he will go with the top 6 that is playing the best.
It’s good competition to have moving forward for the Penguins.
Bad Weather messes with Penguins schedule
Due to winter storms, the Penguins were set to fly out to Montreal a day early and practice in Montreal this morning but bad weather put another change in the Penguins schedule yesterday evening and team opted to fly out this afternoon, instead of last night.
Bylsma to get Johnson a start soon
Dan Bylsma indicated today he will look to get Brent Johnson a start in the next couple games. He’s a candidate to play Saturday night against Florida.
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William DePaoli

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

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