The Penguins didn't have any on-ice practice yesterday, but both groups were back on the ice at Consol Energy Center this morning for their final practice before tomorrow afternoon's scrimmage.
The scrimmage tomorrow is free and open to the public and begins at 3:00 p.m. ET at Consol Energy Center.
Everyone skated on the ice in a 90-minute session focused primarily on pre-game warmup activities such as line rushes followed by two sets of mini 3-on-3 scrimmages going on simultaneously. They were broken down into four teams today before finishing with a team shootout.
Several guys stood out in the mini scrimmages, but Anton Zlobin was most impressive to me in the way that he not only was making people miss and picking corners on the goaltenders, but back-checking and showcasing some good defensive traits as well.
Another guy who was creating offense and scoring goals was Jean-Sebastien Dea. Dea is certainly known as an offensive guy who can hit the back of the net (he scored 49 goals with Royun Noranda of the QMJHL last season).
Dominik Uher was playing his regular feisty and around the puck style of play and even scored on a penalty shot in one of two penalties called throughout the seven mini-periods. Uher seemed to be in a bit of discomfort after taking a slash and dropping his stick. The hunched over Uher battled through and finished the session but you could tell he wasn't skating at 100%.
Tom Kuhnhackl was another guy who stood out. His quick release and sharp shooting allowed him to pick corners whenever he had space to shoot. Another big forward who made some nice plays was Oskar Sundqvist, who was on the winning team of the mini scrimmages along with Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Reid McNeill and Harrison Ruopp among others.
After the 3-on-3's and some 4-on-2 power play situations, they finished up the practice with a full team shootout. Alternating between Team White and Team Black, only 11 shooters scored in the first round and only Blaine Byron was able to go 2-for-2.
Byron was the star of the shootout, doing the patented Peter Forseberg move in his first attempt and scoring after what seemed like a dozen dekes, toe-drags and other moves in his second shot.
Talking with Penguins assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald after the practice, some early insights to what tomorrow's scrimmage will entail. Expect two-30 minute running clock periods with potential stoppages after goals/saves etc. in the final five minutes of each period. Also expect a shootout of sorts to take place sometime during the event.
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