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preVIEW: An early look at Penguins vs. Avalanche.

Greetings from Fifth Avenue, Dear Readers. Rossi was complaining of an upset stomach – likely nerves before his lunch date with a lovely lady way out of his league. (Good with the athletes he is; with the ladies, not so much.) Anyway, an update from the morning practice…

= LINES AND PAIRINGS

Forwards:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis 

Jussi Jokinen-Evgeni Malkin-Chuck Kobasew

Tanner Glass-Brandon Sutter-Chris Conner

Harry Zolnierczyk-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams 

Defense:

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin 

Rob Scuderi-Matt Niskanen

Olli Maatta-Robert Bortuzzo

Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury

* It appears that Dustin Jeffrey and Deryk Engelland will be out of the lineup this evening against the Colorado Avalanche. Engelland has played the past two games at right wing and has acquitted himself fairly well, given that he had never played wing in his NHL career. Jeffrey mentioned to the Tribune-Review on Sunday that he is somewhat frustrated by being in and out of the lineup on a regular basis, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be in uniform tonight.

 

INJURY UPDATE

* The Penguins are getting closer and closer to seeing defenseman Kris Letang return to the lineup. In fact, the all-star defenseman may even return this weekend when the Penguins host the New York Islanders and travel to Toronto.
However, Letang will not be in the lineup tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.
He did participate in the Penguins’ morning skate, and remained on the ice for some extended conditioning. Letang looked strong, showing no signs of the knee trouble that has been hindering him for nearly a month.
Coach Dan Bylsma says Letang is “close” to returning.

* Left wing Beau Bennett skated before the morning skate but isn’t ready to play tonight and seems questionable at best to play this weekend.

* Right wing Matt D’Agostini skated this morning and will be eligible to play with the Penguins starting on Saturday in Toronto, though it remains unknown if he will be medically cleared to participate in that game.

 

WATCH FOR THIS N’AT 

= The Penguins have destroyed Colorado under Dan Bylsma, putting up a 4-0 record and generally having their way with an Avalanche blue line that hasn’t been especially strong in recent years.

= You know the story by now: Sidney Crosby has a point in each of his first eight games, and 17 in all. Against a team that likes to trade chances, Crosby should have a few opportunities to add to that total.

 

THE READ 

Even Sid doesn’t think he can keep this pace up: Here’s more … http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4914655-74/crosby-game-points#axzz2iO90L2sJ

 

HEAR HERE 

This is being filed late, so if Rossi and were doing any radio hits today, you probably would have heard it already. 

 

Behave yourselves, and enjoy the hockey game.

Yohe

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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