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Kings-Penguins: Game 13 Preview

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Since we last met the Pittsburgh Penguins...

IN: Steve Sullivan, Steve MacIntyre, Boris Valabik, Alex Picard, Jason "Not Justin" Williams.  

OUT: Max Talbot, Eric Godard, Mike Rupp, Chris Conner

INJURED: Sidney Crosby is still out, though his return is fast approaching; Tyler Kennedy also has concussion symptoms. Other injuries: Zybnek Michalek (finger) Ben Lovejoy (wrist). Jordan Staal (leg) hasn’t played during this trip.

Possible lineup:

Sullivan-Evgeni Malkin-Neal
Kunitz-Park-Dupuis
Cooke-Letestu-Asham
Jeffrey-Vitale-Adams

Martin-Letang
Orpik-Engelland
Niskanen-Picard

Fleury

*Note: Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo was recalled from the AHL, but it’s unclear whether he’s replacing someone or is just a spare. Letang, Niskanen, and Martin took mainenance days, and Orpik may have hurt his foot in San Jose.

Game outlook: Even while ailing, the Penguins are a tough defensive club (3rd in goals allowed/game); Malkin is still a high scoring caveman, and he's clicking with Neal. This would be a challenge any night, so I’m curious to see how they respond on the confidence front.

The Kings are adjusting to a new style of play. This is a new world order where the top scoring lines face the stiffest competition, without the third line providing shutdown relief. I don’t know what to predict. They’ll either work out their new system, or Terry Murray will likely find himself out of a job. But the transition period is still in effect.