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preVIEW: An early look at Penguins at Flyers

Greetings from Broad Street in Philadelphia, and now a morning-skate update for the Dear Readers…



A look at who was where during the Penguins’ pregame practice:










GOALIE: Fleury


  • Defenseman Deryk Engelland skated the right winger on the fourth line, and coach Dan Bylsma said Engelland has practiced at that position three times this season. Engelland said he played as a forward against Montreal two years ago and “a few times” during his days with Las Vegas of the East Coast Hockey League.
    “It’s a different look,” Engelland said, noting the defensive-zone specifically. “I’ll need to have my head on a swivel and stuff.”
    Engelland is arguably the Penguins top fighter. The Penguins are playing in Philadelphia on Thursday, where the Flyers once used “vengeance” as a marketing slogan.
    Bylsma tried to downplay all of that.
    “We like have that grit, that guy in the lineup,” he said of Engelland. “It’s not particularly just because we’re playing the Flyers.”
  • LW/RW Dustin Jeffrey did not take line rushes during the morning-skate session. He also did not practice on a line Wednesday. He would be the odd forward out if Engelland plays up front.



  • D Kris Letang (lower body) participated in the morning skate, but he will not play at Philadelphia. He will miss a sixth consecutive game to open the season. He was injured Sept. 27. Bylsma said Thursday there remains “no timetable” for Letang’s return to games.
  • RW Beau Bennett (lower body) did not practice Thursday. He has not practiced since he was injured last Saturday in a win at Tampa Bay.
  • RW James Neal (upper body) did not practice. He has not practiced since he re-aggravated an injury in a win over New Jersey on Oct. 3.
  • RW Matt D’Agostini (lower body) did practice, but like Letang he was not involved in all drills. D’Agostini has yet to play in a game this season.
  • D’Agostini and G Tomas Vokoun (blood clot) are on the LTIR (long-term injury list). They cannot play in the first 10 games and for 24 days dating to the start of the season.
  • Vokoun is out 3-6 months.



A peek into how Penguins-Flyers might play out:

  • Sidney Crosby (13 goals, 20 assists) and Evgeni Malkin (12 goals, 16 assists) have really seemed take to Wells Fargo Center in the 21 games each has played in Philadelphia’s rink.
  • The road club has won eight of the last 12 in this Commonwealth Cold War.
  • Blood. There will be blood.





TV/radio appearances for Thursday:

ROSSI – The Mark Madden Show (3:30 p.m., 105.9-FM); Penguins Live with Brian Metzer (5:20 p.m.,; Hockey Night with David Todd (6:10 p.m., 970-AM).



Be Excellent to each other,




Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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