PENGUINS LINEUP VS MINNESOTA WILD
8:00 p.m., TV Root Sports
Thomas Greiss (Will Start), Jeff Zatkoff (Will play final 30 minutes)
Paul Martin, Scott Harrington, Christian Ehrhoff, Brian Dumoulin, Kris Letang, Taylor Chorney
Chris Kunitz, Nick Spaling, Kasperi Kapanen, Pascal Dupuis, Oscar Sundqvist, Andrew Ebbett, Patric Hornqvist, Blake Comeau, Craig Adams, Steve Downie, Daniel Carcillo, Zach Sill
Storylines: Pascal Dupuis (knee) will make his preseason debut and appear in his first game since December 23……Daniel Carcillo (foot) in camp on a PTO, see’s his first action of the preseason. With Bobby Farnham strongly in the mix for a roster spot and playing a similar game, a key for Carcillo will be using his speed and being a presence on the forecheck…….How Kasperi Kapanen builds off his strong game from Saturday will be something to watch……
BORTUZZO INJURY OPENS UP SPOT
With Robert Bortuzzo expected to be sidelined for a month, maybe longer, and the Penguins anticipating Olli Maatta being cleared to play by opening night, Scott Harrington, Brian Dumoulin and Taylor Chorney are all in the mix for one spot to open the season in Pittsburgh.
Harrington the Penguins 2011 second round pick, has out performed the other two, including Brian Dumoulin, who was looked at going into the season as a bit farther ahead in his development than Harrington. That might still be true but the Penguins coaching staff loves what Harrington brings to the table already at age 21 and had been giving him strong consideration to start the season in Pittsburgh even prior to Bortuzzo’s injury.
Harrington had even been skating ahead of Simon Despres on the depth chart during Friday’s practice.
There is a sense in the organization that team officials believe Harrington has the ability to prove himself as an NHL defenseman this season, which could open the door to move a veteran defenseman by mid-season.
However, at the end of last season, one feeling was Harrington would still benefit from 2-3 months in Wilkes Barre in a No. 1 pairing role, getting heavy minutes.
If the Penguins kept Harrington or Dumoulin to start the year, it would be to play, not stay around as the No. 7 defenseman.
Chorney has been the surprise of training camp. He has a second round pedigree and has been an ideal fit in Mike Johnston’s system with his ability to skate and activate in the offensive zone. Chorney, though, has been a career minor leaguer.
2012 first round pick Derrick Pouliot remains on the camp roster but is in Wilkes Barre training and still 3-4 weeks away from being cleared for contact. He’s out of the equation for now.