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Insider Only Pens wrap up regular season today with opportunity to rest players

With their playoff positioning and opponent known for round 1, head coach Dan Bylsma has the option of resting a few players and not going with a full lineup.
Winger James Neal is not expected to play due to what is believed to be a left wrist injury. Neal’s injury will give Mike Comrie or even…

Eric Tangradi an opportunity to get some game action today.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tangradi in the lineup today. He has not played in a game at any level since Feb 11th and is not eligible to play in the 2011 AHL playoffs.
Tangradi has been recovered from a concussion for a few weeks now but he’s been well down on the depth chart and today’s the first opportunity to get him in the lineup with the Penguins playing for nothing.
If they could have, Tangradi would have been back down to Wilkes Barre once he recovered from his concussion.
Tangradi’s development this season has taken a significant hit with him not being eligible for the AHL playoffs. It’s a lost opportunity for Tangradi as the Baby Pens have a strong chance of making a deep run.
Now, all he will be able to do is just continue to practice with the Penguins because he’s not going to see the ice in the playoffs with the big club.
The Penguins did not have a morning skate so who starts in goal is not yet known. Last year Bylsma opted to sit Marc Andre Fleury in the final regular season game, when the Penguins had their playoff seed locked up.
Good possibility Johnson gets the start today. However, one side of the argument is not starting Fleury would have him going into the playoffs with 5 to 6 days off between starts.
Fleury is 10-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average and one shutout in his last 11 games vs Atlanta.
Brent Johnson is 3-1-1 with a 2.21 GAA in his last 5 games against the Thrashers.
The Penguins are 3-0 against the Atlanta Thrashers this season, outscoring them 13-7.
What’s on the line for the Penguins today: A win against Atlanta would give the Penguins their 24th victory on the road, tying a franchise record set during their franchise best 1992-93 season.
Pittsburgh has won 11 of their last 12 meetings with the Thrashers.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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