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Game 3 Preview: Updates from practices for the Penguins and Lightning

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Getting you prepared for the game tonight in Tampa between the Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Here's the news to know from the gameday skates as the Penguins and Lightning prepare for tonight's Game 3.

He would not rejoin the team today, but quite the story that Ben Bishop is in any shape to get on skates after being stretchered off on Friday night in a ton of pain.

Pens fans are discussing a goalie to play, but the real controversy might be in Tampa.. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been great in relief (63 saves on 67 stops) but Bishop is a Vezina nominee this year who's led TB to the Stanley Cup finals last season...Which goalie they go with is of major interest. Hopefully the Penguins don't make any decision tougher by failing to score on Vasilevskiy in Game 3.


To be expected...Also, in a video the Pens released yesterday with Bonino giving the "player of the game" helmet away, he mentioned something about Phil Kessel fighting a sickness all day long. A joke? Kessel scored, so whatever it was didn't seem to hinder him too much, but an important reminder that there is a lot going on behind the scenes with issues that average fans might not even be thinking about.


Most big-minute players don't skate the day of a game, but always interesting to see who takes the day off. The most meaningful is probably the absence of Steven Stamkos who has been ramping up in recent days (full practice with the team, not wearing a no-contact jersey, etc) but as we've seen first-hand so often, you never know with a blood thinner situation when a player will get the clearance to play.


The placement of Alex Killorn is most interesting, but perhaps he will be with Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov tonight. Based off typical lines Blunden is certainly a placeholder for Jonathan Drouin (expected to play tonight). It will be interesting to see if Tampa goes with 11 forwards again tonight.

Also, not great work ethic for Sidney Crosby to look up to for the young Drouin taking a morning off, is it?


And on to the Pens

Standard operating procedure for Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang to keep stretched out by skating the day after a game (which they both did yesterday) and then skip the game-day skate.

If anything, the unusual item was that Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist all participated. Those vets almost always slip optionals in the playoffs.


A couple interesting notes in Friedman's 30 Thoughts that just dropped as well on the Pens on #17-19.