Post-Morning Skate Updates
*Brent Johnson was the first goaltender off the ice and as expected will start in goal tonight against the Boston Bruins. Johnson getting the start in goal was later confirmed by Dan Bylsma after the skate.
Johnson leads the Penguins with a 6-1-1 record and a 1.62 GAA.
Johnson will face Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas who was the first goaltender off the ice for Boston. Johnson and Thomas have been two of the best goaltenders in the National Hockey League.
Thomas is 7-0-0 with a 1.04 GAA and .967 save percentage.
*As we mentioned earlier, the Penguins are battling a flu bug and head coach Dan Bylsma said after the morning skate that Chris Conner has been recalled as insurance in case someone is unable to go. At this time, Conner is not expected to play tonight. He was the extra forward in the morning skate along with Mike Comrie.
*There will be one change on the blueline tonight as Ben Lovejoy confirmed to me after the morning skate that he will be back into the lineup.
Lovejoy will replace Deryk Engelland in the lineup who will sit after playing just 6:23 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
“I am, very excitied, ” Lovejoy told Inside Pittsburgh Sports about getting back into the lineup tonight. “Anytime your not in, obviously want the team to be successful but your dying to do anything you can to get back into the lineup.”
Lovejoy has played well this season, recording two points and a plus-4 rating in 11 games. The coaching staff was pleased with his play but at the time the staff has felt Deryk Engelland was the better fit.
After Engelland’s struggles Saturday night, Lovejoy will get back in tonight and what he’s looking to bring to the table tonight is consistency.
“Just consistency, ” Lovejoy said. “Feel like over the first month of the season….
” I had some really good games and not some really good games. Just need to go out and do the same thing every shift, defend well and be good with the puck.
“Definetely, “Lovejoy said when asked if it’s been difficult to sit. “It’s a pride thing. You want to be in the lineup but I understand there are some good players in front of me and I just need to play well, ” Lovejoy said.