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Pens Points: Preseason Continues vs. Wild

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Pens face Wild at Consol tonight. Vitale and Engelland start off well with new teams. Downie received well by former adversaries. USA Hockey/CCM prospects game tonight.

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning everyone,

Yesterday's round of roster cuts has trimmed the roster down to 37 players. There are two skating sessions today, first with the 15 players who will not play tonight (that includes Crosby and Kunitz but not Malkin), followed by a game-day skate at 10:30 for those playing tonight.

The Pens face the Wild in their third pre-season game. We'll get to see our old friend Matt Cooke at Consol again. Here is a game preview with rosters and projected lines from Penguins Sauce. From HockeyBuzz, here is a list of things to watch for in that game.

Quite a few injuries have struck some key players on several teams so far in the preseason: Claude Giroux is out for the preseason for the Flyers, Jordan Staal is out indefinitely for the Hurricanes, Pavel Datsyuk will miss 4 weeks with a 2nd-degree shoulder separation, Derek Stepan will miss 4-6 weeks with a fractured fibula ... so say hello to Dominic Moore, the Rangers' new first-line center ... Yipes.

The Penguins have quite a few new faces in the dressing room this year, and some of them are former adversaries. It's an interesting dynamic for someone like Steve Downie, who the fans have to shift from disliking to supporting, though inside the room all differences were quickly put aside.

Joe Vitale and Deryk Engelland have now scored the same number of goals as the entire Penguins team so far this offseason. Watch Joey V's nice display of hand-eye coordination, and here's Engo's first goal as a Flame (and a PP goal to boot). Earning millions one preseason goal at a time.

Other than jerseys, I have a dissenting opinion on everything in this Pens Initiative article on embracing old school, but it very eloquently advocates for the writer's points of view.

Nick Cotsonika previews the Avs, who are now in the minority by not having embraced the analytics movement. We'll see how they fare this year, though.

THN previews the 2014-15 Chicago Blackhawks and predicts they will win the Stanley Cup. Oh well. There is a lot of hockey between now and June.

Don't forget the All-American prospects game is also tonight on the NHL Network. It'll be another chance to see Jack Eichel, a projected top-2 pick in the NHL '15 draft, and also a chance to see and hear Dan Bylsma again.