SouthPointe, PA – The Pittsburgh Penguins returned to the ice this morning as the team prepares for Thursday’s contest with the Colorado Avalanche.
As the Penguins are getting healthier, defenseman Alex Goligoski (groin) will miss his second straight game and be held out of Thursday’s game. Goligoski did not skate today. The injury to Goligoski is not serious though but Pittsburgh is being very cautious. He may not practice until the weekend at the earliest.
Another player the Penguins are waiting to return to the ice is winger Chris Kunitz. Kunitz remains sidelined and will not be available to play this week. Kunitz has not played since November 12th and it was expected that he would only be out for 2 weeks.
In Kunitz absence, Max Talbot has taken full advantage of his opportunity on Sidney Crosby’s line. The Talbot – Crosby – Guerin unit has shown good chemistry the past couple games and Crosby enjoys playing with Talbot.
Talbot is not the typical top-2 line winger that Pittsburgh would want on Crosby’s line but Guerin and Talbot mesh well with Crosby because they create space for him.
Suspended winger Matt Cooke practice today, skating on the 4th line. With Cooke out for another game, Michael Rupp will remain on the third line. Rupp will also be used with

Malkin and Crosby in certain situations (few shifts here & there), Dan Bylsma hinted at today.
Got the sense in the locker room today that the team is looking forward to Saturday’s matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks.
A team source tells me two members of Team Canada will be in attendance scouting Saturday’s game. Indications are Jordan Staal and Jonathan Toews remain in the mix for the final forward spots. Both players are rumored to be primary targets of Team Canada’s Pittsburgh scouting trip.