WBS Pens Monday Practice Update: Three Questions Heading Into Game 3

Monday, May 13, 2013
The Penguins held a practice this morning at Coal Street and despite being down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series, the team seemed pretty upbeat. The series now shifts to Wilkes-Barre for three games, starting with Wednesday night's Game Three.

With one more day of practice coming before Wednesday night's game, there are still some questions yet to be answered.

1. Who will the Penguins start in goal for Game Three?

Might get a better answer after tomorrow's practice. After practice today, head coach John Hynes said he hadn't really given it much thought yet.  Jeff Zatkoff started the first two games, allowing 12 goals in the first four periods of the series, before Brad Thiessen came in and stopped the bleeding, stopping all 16 shots he faced in the final 40 minutes of Game Two. While the defense in front of him certainly didn't help the cause, Zatkoff was still critical of his own play when the media caught up with him after practice today:
"I just got to make big saves when the team needs me," Zatkoff said. "It wasn't the weekend that I wanted. I just got to get back to doing what I do normally and that's giving the team a chance, making first saves and making that big save when we need it. I couldn't come up with it this weekend when we needed to and things got out of hand."
2. Can the Penguins contain the Bruins top line at home?

The Bruins' top line of Chris Bourque, Ryan Spooner and Jamie Tardif has been the difference through the first two games whether it be even strength or the man advantage. I spoke to defenseman and team captain Joey Mormina about how tough this series has been on the defenseman  for both teams thus far and what he wants to see from the D core on Wednesday:

"We need to play a lot better," Mormina said. "That starts with me. I'm the captain, one of the leaders on defense. My game needs to improve. As a collective group, the six guys that are playing on Wednesday need to play better. We need to help our goaltending out. So far, we haven't done a very good job limiting Providence's Grade A chances." 

3. What is the status of Dylan Reese for Game Three?

Much like the first question, I hope to get a better idea after practice tomorrow. Reese did not skate today and when coach Hynes was asked about how Reese was doing, Hynes responded by saying," Dylan's good. He's progressing." 

There is no timetable for Reese's return to the lineup. In fact, defenseman Peter Merth joined the team in practice today from the team's Black Aces squad to give the team seven healthy defensemen on the ice.

Obviously if Reese doesn't skate in tomorrow's practice, it is unlikely he'll play Wednesday but the fact that Reese was with the team and not in the hospital following the hit he took from Bobby Robins in Game One has to be a good sign. Reese was seen watching the team's practice today. I'm sure he'll be doing some off-ice work today and depending on how he responds to that, he could very well practice tomorrow and play Wednesday night.


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