The Penguins have been very fortunate through almost a week of camp to have a fully healthy team going in their season opener. A number of players leaguewide have been dealing with groin and lower body injuries but the Penguins again today had a full squad of 23 players on the ice.
If today’s practice was any indication, Simon Despres won’t be thrown into a top pairing role vs the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.

The Penguins top-3 pairings during today’s skate were Matt Niskanen – Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik – Paul Martin, and Simon Despres – Deryk Engelland with Ben Lovejoy and Robert Bortuzzo as the extra pairing.
It’s the same exact pairings the Penguins opened training camp with on Sunday at Southpointe.
Upfront the forward lines were status quo:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Eric Tangradi – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Matt Cooke – Brandon Sutter – Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass – Joe Vitale – Craig Adams/Dustin Jeffrey
Defenseman Brian Strait has been claimed by the New York Islanders. Strait is about the 50th defenseman the Islanders have claimed this week. Dylan Reese now moves up the organizational depth chart to No. 9 for the time being.