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Pens Points: Geno Rocks Johnstown

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Malkin, Hornqvist and Plotnikov sport Hanson-inspired rims for warmups. (Copyright Pittsburgh Penguins)
Malkin, Hornqvist and Plotnikov sport Hanson-inspired rims for warmups. (Copyright Pittsburgh Penguins)
Pittsburgh Penguins

PENS

No Sid, no problem. The Pens, led by the Malkin line, beat Tampa Bay Lightning in Kraft Hockeyville USA game in Johnstown, PA. Here are some sights and sounds from the wonderful night in Hockeyville. [Empty Netters Recap | Postgame Notes]

Johnstown was the perfect host. The atmosphere before and during the game was phenomenal. The local youth players were spotted everywhere, excited for a glimpse of Malkin and Stamkos. [USA Hockey]

The players were only too delighted to take part in some of their own renditions of the famed movie, with Geno and his comrades sporting Hanson-style glasses before the game and during warmups. Wear them every time if the line combines for 6 points per night. [Sporting News]

It's hard to impress Steven Stamkos within the confines of a hockey rink, but the Lightning captain was grinning from ear to ear watching the Hanson brothers put on the foil. [Trib]

Besides the Hanson line, Adam Clendening had a very good night alongside Olli Maatta, and has seemingly leapfrogged a few guys for a roster spot consideration. Clendening has shown more in camp than Scuderi, Gonchar, Pouliot or Dumoulin. [PPG]

Should a Letang-Maatta pairing be a foregone conclusion? I think yes, but perhaps Letang-Cole and Maatta-Clendening could be a really decent top 4 lineup. [Hockey Buzz]

Interesting post-game remarks from Mike Johnston, who explained it was his decision to not play Crosby, who asked about playing in Quebec and Johnstown. [Chipped Ice]

Matt Cullen is still settling in with his new team and l;earning about his new teammates. Who will his linemates be when the regular season opens? Your guess is as good as his. [PPG]

NHL

Full NHL season previews from one of my favorite writers Stephen Whyno, who looks at the totality of the two conferences. [Eastern Conference | Western Conference]

Victor Hedman left last night's game with an injury and will be evaluated upon return to Tampa, though as of right now his exit looks to me more precautionary that anything else. [Tampa Tribune]

While fans in Johnstown and Quebec are probably disappointed about not seeing the league's biggest star, the coach can't be faulted for not overplaying top guys in exhibitions. Quite a few injuries so far, including Jordan Eberle on Tuesday. [Edmonton Sun]

More on Edmonton, where Andrew Ference is sliding further down the depth chart and may be no better than #7 defenseman, leading many to speculate that the captaincy may shift to a core player such as Taylor Hall. [Pro Hockey Talk]

We're still in western Canada, where Brandon Sutter says he isn't concerned about the slow start with the Canucks - yet. [The Province]

Interesting financial tidbit regarding estimated net worth of Pens majority owner Ron Burkle, which plummeted from $3.2B to $1.6B since 2010, dropping him from the Forbes 400 list. What could that mean for the Penguins sale? [The Pensblog]

Pens prospect Blaine Byron is bigger, stronger and looking to make a bigger impact at the University of Maine this season in his junior year. [SB Nation College Hockey]

Quebecor, the company behind efforts to bring an NHL franchise back to Quebec City, says that their expansion bid won't be hurt by the plummeting value of the Canadian dollar. [TSN]

A good read on the expansion in general, as Elliotte Friedman reports on a day's worth of meetings in Manhattan. There still seem to be many more questions than answers. [Sportsnet]

Tanner Glass may not survive the last round of roster cuts when the Rangers reduce the size from the current 25 to the required 23. Yeah nobody's picking up that contract, so hope he likes Hartford. [NorthJersey.com]

For the end, a pretty incredible story right out of a Disney movie about a kid from Israel named David Levin, who went from barely stay upright on his skates to three years later being a top draft pick for the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL. [Sportsnet]