Southpointe — The Pittsburgh Penguins had an optional skate today in what was Alex Ponikarovsky’s first practice with the team.
Ponikarovsky got first class treatment from the Penguins as ownership pulled some Marian Hossa strings, flying Ponikarovsky to Pittsburgh on a private jet and bought billboard space near I-279 welcoming Ponikarovsky to Pittsburgh.
The Penguins went through a short skate and Ponikarovsky is one of those players that stands out in practice.
A towering player at 6ft4 229 lbs, Ponikawovsky has very good puck skills and his skating ability for a player his size stands out.
Ponikarovsky will appear in his first game in a Penguins uniform Saturday afternoon but whose line he plays on is still being decided.
Winger Bill Guerin sat out today’s skate with back spasms and is regarded as doubtful for Saturday’s game.

I’m told Ponikarovsky may skate on a line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz while Bylsma keeps the Penguins 2nd line in tact.
Sidney Crosby, Brooks Orpik and Evgeni Malkin also did not practice. All three players took the day off.