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NHL Playoffs: Pens practice update: Ehrhoff back, Pouliot missing

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are practicing Tuesday gearing up for the start of their playoff series against the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

News and notes from Pittsburgh Penguins practice:

  • Good news in the form of Christian Ehrhoff, who participated in practice with the team today, a day after joining them on the ice for Monday's optional practice. Ehrhoff was injured 3 weeks ago to the day on 3/24, getting him back would obviously be a big boost for the Penguins, but it remains to be seen if/when he will progress for game action.
  • Bad news in the form of Derrick Pouliot: he wasn't at practice. The young defenseman has been day-to-day since getting hurt 1 week ago to today in a 4/7 game against Ottawa. At this point, seems like a longshot that Pouliot will be ready for Game 1.
  • However, in more good news, the Pens won't be short-handed, at least. Brian Dumoulin and Scott Harrington were recalled and practiced, and since it's the playoffs the Pens will have 6 defensemen one way or another.
  • With Pouliot out the Pens top power play was Evgeni Malkin joining Paul Martin on the point and David Perron , Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist down low. The team didn't want to have Malkin on a point, and 4 forwards on the top unit, but they don't have much of a choice with Pouliot and Kris Letang on the bench.
  • A variety of players rotated on the #2 PP, with the only defensemen being Ehrhoff and Taylor Chorney. While this may be nothing - guys like Martin and Malkin can play almost 2 minutes, it's gotta be a good sign for Ehrhoff to get this action.
  • As Jenn Menendez of the PG pointed out, the team spent a lot of time focusing on both their PP units. This is a great sign too, as a productive power play will be a key for the Penguins trying to beat the Rangers.
  • Another new face was the freshly recalled Scott Wilson. Wilson, a rookie, only has 1 NHL game in his career (and he got hurt halfway through it, at that). However Wilson is one of the top scorers in the minors for Wilkes-Barre (19g, 22a in 55 games) and has a little jump in his step. Could the Pens make a big switch up for their lineup for the games?
  • Doesn't look like it, based on lines today:

  • Weird to see Adams on the 4th line when he was the 13th forward last time out. No line rushes for Nick Spaling , who was injured in a game last week, but sucked it up and played. It would be a pretty safe assumption that he would do the same for playoffs, bumping Adams likely back to the press box.
  • It will remain to be seen how Spaling goes, though.
  • If you're into logistics and schedules: the Pens are scheduled to practice tomorrow at Consol again at 11:15 AM. Following practice they will be heading off east to New York City ahead of the game on Thursday.