Quite a few notes out of an interesting morning skate at Consol Energy Center. The Penguins trotted out some new line combinations today:
Pascal Dupuis - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Mike Rupp - Maxime Talbot - Chris Conner
Brett Sterling - Dustin Jeffrey - Nick Johnson
Ryan Craig - Joe Vitale (right)- Craig Adams
-The team's power play units looked like this:
First unit - Craig, Jeffrey, Staal, Goligoski, Letang
Second unit - Conner, Kennedy, Rupp, Martin, Michalek
-Sterling, a native of California, grew up a fan of Kings and forward Tony Granato, currently an assistant coach with the team.
-Matt Cooke discussed his suspension saying, "It's the league's decision. They assess every hit and every play. That's their ruling."
-On the injury front, Sidney Crosby acknowledged the possibility his season could be over but added, "But am I sitting here packing it in? No. I hope I'm back and, geez, I hope I play this year."
-Chris Kunitz ("lower-body") is expected to take 4-6 days to heal from his injury.
-Evgeni Malkin underwent successful surgery on his damaged right knee.
-The Kings will have one change in their lineup. Tough guy Kevin Westgarth will play on the fourth line instead of Brad Richardson.
-Kings defenseman and former Penguin Rob Scuderi spoke briefly on his return to Pittsburgh. On playing in Consol Energy Center he said: "This place is beautiful. I didn’t recognize it. There’s no leaks. I didn’t know where I was. I saw their locker room this morning. It’s a top notch facility. It looks great. I miss the Mellon a little bit. I thought it was a great atmosphere to play in but ultimately, the fans make the arena, not the other way around."
-Kings coach Terry Murray talked about the meager production of former Penguins forward Alexei Ponikarovsky who has eight points in 33 games this season. Murray said: "He’s been injured. I’ve had him out of the line up as part of the ‘need to play’ better attitude but certainly the injuries have had a big adjustment for him. Coming through a couple different organizations here in two years now. Through Pittsburgh last year, now to us. It’s new system, new style, new philosophy. It takes a little bit of time for a player to make those adjustments. I think his game is starting to get back on track in what we expected of him when we signed him as a player."
(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)