*The Penguins are begining the process of moving Evgeni Malkin back to full time wing or at least taking his face-off responsibilities away.
Malkin who has 11 points in his last 8 games, since being moved back to center on November 5th against Anaheim, (although he’s still played some wing) has begun to show signs of his oldself since the switch.
Malkin though has struggled mightily in the face-off circle (32.9%) and the Penguins long-term plan has not changed when it comes to Malkin being regarded as a long-term winger.
Malkin will play right wing tonight on the second line with Max Talbot centering Matt Cooke and Malkin.
Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz each participated fully in the morning skate and as expected will play tonight.
Arron Asham will be demoted to the 4th line after getting benched in Friday’s game due to poor defensive play.
Mike Comrie and Eric Godard were the extra forwards again this morning. If Godard or Comrie were to get into the lineup, Asham would likely come out as the staff was not happy with his play Friday night.
Ben Lovejoy took a regular line rush as the third pairing with Alex Goligoski. The Penguins are on their annual dad’s trip and it’s likely that Lovejoy gets in tonight.
Morning Skate Lines
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Cooke – Talbot – Malkin
Conner – Letestu – Kennedy
Rupp – Adams – Asham
Orpik – Letang
Martin – Michalek
Goligoski – Lovejoy/Engelland
Starting Goaltender: Marc Andre Fleury in goal
Extra’s: Comrie, Godard.