Tonight’s probable lines and defense pairings:
Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Jussi Jokinen-Evgeni Malkin-Matt D’Agostini
Tanner Glass-Brandon Sutter-Dustin Jeffrey
Tanner Glass-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams
Matt Niskanen-Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin
Olli Maatta-Robert Bortuzzo
Thanks to an injury that is going to sideline Chuck Kobasew for close to a month, Dustin Jeffrey is getting a chance to return to the lineup. He hasn’t played since a 3-2 Penguins victory against the Edmonton Oilers a couple of weeks ago. Jeffrey, a top-six style player trying to make it in a bottom-six role, clearly hasn’t impressed the coaching staff in his limited appearances this season. Here’s his chance, and it comes against a Bruins team that he beat in overtime during a two-goal performance in a memorable game in Boston in 2011.
Kobasew, as we know, is out three-to-four weeks and James Neal will continue to miss time for at least another week, maybe longer. But there is some good news. Winger Beau Bennett skated again before the Penguins’ morning skate on Wednesday, and coach Dan Bylsma remported that the California native skated harder today and felt good. Also, defenseman Rob Scuderi underwent successful surgery this morning to repair a broken ankle he sustained on Oct. 26 in Toronto.
Watch For This N’ At
= Boston wants behemoth defenseman Zdeno Chara on the ice against Sidney Crosby. The Penguins refuse to back away from this battle (think of Marty McFly being called a chicken, and deciding to fight Biff when he doesn’t really have to). Crosby actually has had some success against Chara over the years, but the defenseman won the battle in June. It should be fun to watch.
= Scuderi was responsible for a huge chunk of penalty killing minutes. Who will replace his minutes on the PK? A combination of people, it appears.
= Remember Jarome Iginla? He’s back tonight, and still has nothing but good things about his time in Pittsburgh. He still refers to the Penguins as “we” when discussing last season’s playoff loss against his new team, the Bruins.
Rob Rossi had an interesting take on Jarome Iginla’s role with the Penguins last season. Check it out here: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4962528-74/iginla-penguins-bruins#axzz2jDycjonA
I’ll be joining Steve Kolbe of the Penguins Radio Network at 3:40 p.m.
Rossi’s radi hits include: The David Todd Show (4:10 p.m., 970-AM); Penguins Live with Brian Metzer (5:20 p.m., sportstalk.triblive.com)
For those of us writing about the game, 8 p.m. starts are terrible for deadlines. As for the rest of you, maybe you’ll enjoy it. Kids out there, get your homework done before the game. Won’t be over until 10:30 p.m. at the earliest. Enjoy the hockey game, dear readers.