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Insider Only Morning Skate Buzz: Despres called up as Paul Martin’s iffy for tonight’s game

Florida Panthers (31-23-12, 74 pts) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (40-21-5, 85 pts)

Defenseman Simon Despres is on his way up from Wilkes Barre for tonight’s game and is likely to play vs the Florida Panthers.

Defenseman Paul Martin is considered iffy for tonight’s game and did not participate in the morning skate.
Despres, 20, has appeared in 14 NHL games this season, tallying four points and a plus-4 rating.
Head coach Dan Bylsma will update Martin’s situation at his media session in a bit.
— No changes are expected for the Penguins up front tonight. Eric Tangradi and Dustin Jeffrey will be healthy scratches
Sidney Crosby is considered likely to play Sunday, according to team sources and is skating again today. Crosby skated with a few players yesterday during on-ice workouts where he took physical contact. The word from those close to the situation was if Crosby responded well today, his chances of playing Sunday would increase significantly. Crosby worked the point on the second power play unit this morning. A decision on whether Crosby is playing on Sunday is not expected until Saturday afternoon
Kris Letang and Deryk Engelland participated in on-ice individual drills prior to practice. Both were in full gear and are improving on a daily basis.
— Brad Thiessen will backup Marc Andre Fleury tonight
— Fleury is 16-2-1 in his last 19 starts and 5-0-0 with a 1.18 GAA and .970 save percentage in his last five games.
The Penguins are 19-4-1 in their last 24 games and could move within four points of the New York Rangers tonight with a win.
Projected Lineup
Kunitz – Malkin – Neal
Sullivan – Staal – Dupuis
Cooke – Vitale – Kennedy
Asham – Adams – Park
Orpik – Michalek
Despres – Niskanen
Strait – Lovejoy
Marc Andre Fleury in goal