As if this game couldn't get any bigger.
Jordan Staal expects to make his season debut tonight after missing the first 39 games due to foot and hand injuries.
Staal last played May 12 in Game 7 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series during last seasons's playoffs. The Penguins lost to the Canadiens, 5-2, in the final game at Mellon Arena.
Staal, 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, was scheduled to return from a foot injury suffered during that series with the Canadiens in November but suffered a broken right hand after being hit by a puck during a practice at the team's practice facility at Iceoplex in Southpointe.
In 82 games last season, Staal scored 21 goals and 49 points. Prior to his injury, Staal had appeared in 302 consecutive games dating back to his rookie season of 2006-07. That is the second-longest streak in franchise history after Ron Schock's 313 games.
Staal worked on the team's fourth line at today's morning skate. The lines:
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Evgeni Malkin - Maxime Talbot
Chris Conner - Mark Letestu - Tyler Kennedy
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams/Jordan Staal -Arron Asham