Tuesday Practice Update 12/11

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Jeff Zatkoff's injury in yesterday's practice at the Coal Street Rink kept him off the ice at practice today, hence why the Penguins signed former South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) goalie Ryan Zapolski (pictured above) to a professional try-out contract.

Zapolski was playing well in the ECHL, winning his last six starts and being named the league's goalie of the week. In today's practice, he looked particularly good in the team's end of practice shootout. Zapolski stoned most of the shooters he faced.

Also missing from practice was forwards Keven Veilleux (knee) and Tom Kuhnhackl (upper body). Veilleux is taking a few weeks off for rest as the Pens want to ease him back into the lineup. Kuhnhackl left last Saturday's game against the IceCaps and didn't return. Coach Hynes expects him to be out for awhile.

Simon Despres didn't skate either today, making his status for tomorrow doubtful and this weekend's games grim. Despres left the game against Hershey on Friday night after an apparent high hit in the corner from Bears defenseman Steve Olesky.

Beau Bennett skated and looked fine today. I was a little concerned after his shootout attempt against Portland this past Saturday, as he tripped over the goaltender's stick and crashed hard into the boards behind the net.

The Penguins travel to Albany to take on the Devils tomorrow night at 7 p.m. EST.

I would expect Brad Thiessen to get the start in net tomorrow. Here's the line combinations and defense pairings I jotted down while at practice this morning:

Tangradi - Smith - Dupuis
Gibbons - Megna - Ferriero
Bennett - Holzapfel - Thompson
Uher/Farnham - Peters - Sill

Bortuzzo - Morrow
Reese - Dumoulin
Grant - Mormina
Strait - Samuelsson

Thiessen - Zapolski


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