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Pittsburgh Penguins lineup: Final Preseason game vs. Detroit

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Sidney Crosby is in the lineup for the first time, and the rest of the team looks very close to what we will see on opening night.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation 2014 NHL Preview

Is this what the Pittsburgh Penguins will look like on opening night? They have announced their roster for the final preseason game, tonight against the Detroit Red Wings, and this sure looks like a final dress rehearsal before the season begins next Thursday at home against Anaheim.

GOALTENDERS

1 Thomas Greiss - G
29 Marc-Andre Fleury - G
37 Jeff Zatkoff - G

POS. PLAYERS

4 Rob Scuderi - D
6 Scott Harrington - D
7 Paul Martin - D
9 Pascal Dupuis - F
10 Christian Ehrhoff - D
13 Nick Spaling - F
14 Chris Kunitz - F
16 Brandon Sutter - F
17 Blake Comeau - F
23 Steve Downie - F
27 Craig Adams - F
38 Zach Sill - F
47 Simon Despres - D
49 Oskar Sundqvist - F
57 Marcel Goc - F
58 Kris Letang - D
72 Patric Hornqvist - F
87 Sidney Crosby - F

Nice to see Sidney Crosby gets one tune-up game before the real deal. It's been a difficult training camp for Crosby, who missed all the games up to this point with a minor undisclosed injuries and then having to go back to Canada for the passing of his grandma. Nice to see him get back to play hockey.

Depending on the status of Olli Maatta 's shoulder, this could well be the opening night lineup. Still no news on Evgeni Malkin, and he wasn't expected to play tonight, but now about a week out, you would have to assume missing some game time is now very much a possibility, even if the Penguins don't want to discuss it.

Other than that the surprises would have to be:

  • Brian Dumoulin and Scott Harrington positioned to make the opening roster. They can thank the Maatta and Robert Bortuzzo injuries, but it's encouraging that the team kept younger, better players that they could have sent down without waivers over ones they had to waive (Philip Samuelsson).
  • Oskar Sundqvist looking close to making it. Coach Mike Johnston had praise for Sundqvist and the GM said he's had "remarkable improvement" in even the past month. Could the Penguins actually add a young player with size, physicality that can actually play hockey? Would be a good start.
  • Zach Sill and Craig Adams in the lineup. As positive as the other developments have been, this is the downer. The Penguins won't have an improved 4th line until they upgrade off these possession black-hole players with little value to the team. Every rose has its thorn, and the injury to Beau Bennett exposes a dirty little secret that even though the Penguins have some better depth forwards, they're still not a very deep team when it's one injury away from potentially icing a lineup that includes 2 of the worst forwards in the league in Adams and Sill.

The preseason is almost over and the games are about to count for real. Ready or not, it's October.