Saturday Practice Report: Eaton questionable for Sunday’s game


SouthPointe_ The Pittsburgh Penguins returned to the ice tonight after a two day break. Unlike other professional sports, the NHL shuts down on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some players stayed in Pittsburgh while others went back home like Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh got back to work just after 6:00 p.m., going through a hard 65 minute skate. All players were accounted for, including defenseman Mark Eaton (right knee). Eaton participated fully after missing the past two games with a right knee injury. Eaton suffered a right knee injury against Buffalo (12/19/09) and the Penguins decided to shut him down until after Christmas. He will be evaluated by team doctors prior to Sunday’s morning skate. He is regarded as questionable for tomorrow’s game. In other injury news, winger Chris Kunitz was bothered by a nagging knee injury Wednesday night, which limited his ice time against Ottawa in the third period.

Canes earn first road win; Malkin becoming too much of a playmaker?


Post-Game Notebook Manny Legace made 30 saves and the Carolina Hurricanes (7-17-5) picked up their first road win of the season, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins (20-10-1) 3-2 Monday night at Mellon Arena. The win snapped a 13 game road winless streak for the Hurricanes as Legace improved his career record against Pittsburgh to 4-0. For one of the rare times this season, the Hurricanes played the type of game that got them to the Eastern Conference Finals last spring. At least they did in the first and third periods. Andrew Alberts and Jussi Jokinen scored in the first to put the Hurricanes up 2-0 and Ray Whitney scored 2:26 into the second period as the Canes jumped out to a commanding 3-0 lead. Against the Stanley Cup champs, no lead is safe and the quick strike Penguins fought back. Sidney Crosby (20) scored at the six minute mark in theRead More »

Players not using “injuries” as a good excuse for recent stretch of losing


I’m not sure why everyone is so upset about the Penguins most recent loss. It was a 4-1 defeat to New Jersey at home Thursday night. They barely avoided a third straight shutout defeat. It was their fourth loss in a row. And the players held a closed door meeting afterwards. But it was actually a good night. After all, nobody else got hurt! By recent standards, that’s a major victory. Of late, getting through a game unscathed has been rare for Pittsburgh. Over the past four weeks, the Penguins have lost Tyler Kennedy, Sergei Gonchar, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, and Brooks Orpik. Throw in Max Talbot (who has yet to play this year due to off season shoulder surgery) and that’s 1/3 of their regular skating roster from the playoffs last year. Compound those injuries with the off-season departures of Petr Sykora, Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill, and Mathieu GaronRead More »

Johnson to start against Florida; Skoula – McKee pairing?


*The 8-1 Pittsburgh Penguins returned to the ice this morning and went through a 90 minute workout today and there will be a few lineup changes when the Penguins host the Florida Panthers friday night. Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury will get a night off and backup Brent Johnson will get the start against the struggling Panthers. Fleury (8-0) will start Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils. *All eyes will be on defenseman Martin Skoula tomorrow night who will replace star defenseman Sergei Gonchar in the lineup. Skoula was drafted in the first round by the Colorado Avalanche in 1998 and when he first entered the NHL, Skoula was regarded as having the potential to being an elite defenseman. Some scouts even described him as a future Nicklas Lidstrom. Skoula never matched those high expectations and the past two seasons were difficult ones for him. Skoula was a team worstRead More »

Afternoon Buzz: Fedotenko returns to practice


Pittsburgh Penguins forward Ruslan Fedotenko returned to practice on Friday after missing Thursday’s practice with an illness. Fedotenko skated with Evgeni Malkin and Max Talbot while Pascal Dupuis was moved back to the 4th line. The rest of the lines were Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin Cooke – Staal – Kennedy Dupuis – Adams – Satan Sykora – Zigomanis – Godard *** Winning 6 of seven games when dressing seven defensemen, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma is being

Earning a berth to the Cup Finals, a special moment for the organization


Earning a berth to the Stanley Cup Finals was emotional for the Penguins organization Tuesday night. The team has under-gone a lot of change since last year’s run to the finals, including a coaching change which sparked the Penguins dramatic turnaround in mid-February. It was a special night for the organization and there wasn’t a prouder person in the locker room following the game than owner Mario Lemieux. Lemieux has taking more of role in the day to day operations over the past year as the Penguins have evolved into a Stanley Cup Contender. Lemieux and Sidney Crosby share a close bond as Crosby has grown as a person and a player under Lemieux’s wing. The two shared a good moment in the locker room following the post-game celebrations. * Following Carolina’s 4-1 loss in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher is nowRead More »