Sidney Crosby is not with the Penguins in New York today, with docs still reviewing his concussion-related health. Jordan Staal and Arron Asham won't play for Pittsburgh tonight either, but star defenseman Kris Letang will be back for the foirst time since sustaining a concussion on Nov. 21.
Letang was paired with Brooks Orpik at the morning skate, according to reporters there, and was on the power play unit. Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal.
For the Rangers, it will be Henrik Lundqvist in net, and the same lineup otherwise. Wojtek Wolski, Jeff Woywitka (who hopes to be cleared for contact tomorrow) and Steve Eminger all skated conditioning drills after the optional practice this morning in Westchester. Michael Sauer did not, and I'd expect an update on the defenseman---who felt fine yesterday after practicing---when the coach speaks at 4:50 p.m. at MSG.
Projected lines, d-pairs:
Hagelin-Stepan-Gaborik; Dubinsky-Richards-Prust; Fedotenko-Boyle-Callahan; Anisimov-Mitchell-Rupp. (Things could change druing the game, natch)
Girardi-McDonagh; Del Zotto-Stralman; Bickel-Staal. (Would not be surprised to see Staal in top four during the game, depending on matchups)
I wrote about the NYR PP in an earlier post this morning. Pens are 6th on the road in PP%, Rangers 4th at home on the PK.