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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Crosby Returns Tonight, Gonchar Out

BallHype: hype it up!

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (23+56=79) will return to the ice tonight to face the Florida Panthers in Sunrise.

Crosby had missed the last four games following a groin injury. The Penguins have won all four games that Crosby has missed on his latest layoff. He has missed a total of five games this season and the Penguins have won all five.

I'm sure Casey will add something to this, but I can guess he's stoked to see Crosby and Kunitz finally on the same line.

This could be considered Pittsburgh's biggest game of the season to date: facing a Florida Panther team who sit two points ahead of the Penguins for 6th place in the Eastern Conference.

A proverbial four-point game.

Casey's Take: This is great news and it couldn't come at a better time. The Penguins play the Panthers in two of their next three games with the Capitals sandwiched in the middle. A sweep of the Panthers would go a long way toward climbing back into the thick of the Eastern Conference.

In another roster move, the Penguins recalled defenseman Alex Goligoski to replace Sergei Gonchar tonight. Gonchar flew back to Pittsburgh for the birth of his second child.

It should be interesting to see what the line combos are tonight. Here's what I'd like to see:

Kunitz - Crosby - Guerin - This line practiced together today.
Sykora - Malkin - Staal - Do it Bylsma. You know you want to.
Dupuis - Talbot - Fedotenko - Fun scrappy energy line
Cooke - Adams - Kennedy - Don't expect to see Adams in much more of a role than this.


Kris Letang - Brooks Orpik
Rob Scuderi - Hal Gill
Alex Goligoski - Mark Eaton


Marc-Andre Fleury

A win tonight would give the Pens five in a row to head into Washington on Sunday.

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