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Preseason Game 1: Penguins @ Detroit Red Wings

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The Pittsburgh Penguins hit the road for their first preseason game of the season. A look at what to watch for in a game that you can't actually watch.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins have a 7:30 PM start time for their preseason opener for the season in Detroit tonight. At the same time, Sidney Crosby will be playing a hockey game in Toronto.

Get a time machine and tell a Penguin fan from 2005 to say 2013 this and they'd probably be very sad, then amazed that time machines are invented.

Anyways, it's a hockey game that won't be on TV so unless you're in the Detroit area, you're not going to see it.

Probably just the same for the roster the Pens are bringing (from nhl.com/penguins)

Goaltenders
1 Casey DeSmith
29 Marc-Andre Fleury

Defensemen
4 Justin Schultz
10 Stuart Percy

28 Ian Cole

33 Reid McNeill
51 Derrick Pouliot
61 Steve Oleksy
63 Ryan Segalla

Forwards
11 Kevin Porter
19 Garrett Wilson
23 Scott Wilson
25 Tom Sestito
34 Tom Kuhnhackl
37 Carter Rowney
39 Jean-Sebastien Dea
43 Conor Sheary
45 Josh Archibald
48 Tom Kostopoulos
49 Dominik Simon
59 Jake Guentzel

We'll see what lines and lineups are, it was announced that Fleury will be playing.

It's interesting that the 3 main contenders for the 2 spots on the 3rd pair for opening night (Cole, Pouliot, Schultz) are all in the lineup with each other and have a chance to be evaluated together and in different combinations, if the team so chooses.

Up front there's not a lot of NHL caliber firepower, but with all that Guentzel has created it will be great to see him on the ice with the likes of Sheary, Wilson, Kuhnhackl and SImon.

***

What's this game mean for the Pens? Probably not too much, just the another step in the process of gearing up for a long season. And, from their coach's words this Sunday, he's going to make it a tough camp

"We’re going to challenge these guys from Day one," Mike Sullivan said. "We’re trying to create a competitive camp here. We’re trying to have an emphasis on conditioning. If we’re going to play a skating game, we’ve got to be in shape."

Sullivan made it clear there will be no lollygagging by the Pens. He's not going to take it easy on this group or try to save their energy for later in the year, to him the team's advantage is playing full tilt, fast hockey that the opponents can't match.

"That’s the strength of this group, in their mobility and their desire to play a speed game. I think that’s our competitive advantage. Our players believe that. They want to play that way."