Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gonchar's power-play replacement up for grabs (article)

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma made it clear Friday that Sergei Gonchar's replacement on the top power play unit is still up for grabs. Bylsma said Alex Goligoski and Kris Letang and newcomer Paul Martin were all under consideration and will receive the opportunity to quarterback the top power unit at some point this preseason. Martin doesn't possess a booming shot from the point but did register 70 career power-play points in 400 games with New Jersey. Goligoski (25 career power-play points) and Letang (27 career power-play points) also will be in the mix, with no one emerging as a clear favorite yet.

• Speaking of the power play, Bylsma acknowledged that he and assistant Todd Reirden are sharing the responsibilities of coaching the unit this year.

• Penguins captain Sidney Crosby returned to practice Friday at Consol Energy Center after missing the third period against Detroit and Thursday's practice with a sore hip. He skated without any sign of discomfort.

• Big names such as Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Brooks Orpik did not play in Columbus. Bylsma acknowledged that playing his big names in the first game ever at the Consol Energy Center was important.

• Penguins center Max Talbot laughed when asked about the team's third line Friday in Columbus. Talbot was scheduled to skate on a line with right wing Arron Asham and left wing Matt Cooke, a line sure to agitate, even in a preseason game.


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