January 6, 2012; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal (11) moves the puck up the boards against the New York Rangers during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

Staal Will Be In The Lineup Against The Jets On Saturday

No more waiting for Jordan Staal by the  Pittsburgh Penguins, he will be back in the lineup tomorrow against the Winnipeg Jets.     This is after the injury he suffered and then the stick in the face yesterday from Malkin.      Staal returns in time for the Pittsburgh Penguins to start a run for the Playoffs.

The other players that were not on the ice are Aaron Asham, Sid Crosby, Simon Despres, and Tyler Kennedy.      As far as how the lines shook out today at practice as reported by Sam Kasan from the Penguins Report went something like this.

Kunitz-Malkin-Neal
Cooke-Staal-Dupuis
Sullivan-O’Reilly-Jeffrey
Adams-Vitale-Park

Orpik-Letang
Martin-Michalek
Niskanen-Engelland-Lovejoy

Just having Staal back in the lineup automatically makes the second line a bigger threat.     Staal makes a huge difference on the offense for sure, but he is also the best defensive Center in Hockey.     He is big, tall, and strong and has a ridiculous reach that makes it hard on all opposing teams when they go on the power play.

The Winnipeg Jets are 5-4 and 1 in the last 10 games.      The Jets are a team that has struggled with injuries also.     They have only a few players that have played in all the games.    They are led by Blake Wheeler, who has 36 points and has played in most of the games.       They have a couple of goalies with goals against averages in the 2.5 range.     They lack the star power, but where they lack in that category, they make up for it in overall scoring balance.

Although they have struggled in the last 10 games, they have won their last 2 games including a shootout victory against the Caps.      Expect Pavelec to be in goal for the Jets, and Fleury will play at least the first game of the weekend for the Pens.

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Tags: Blake Wheeler Evgeni Malkin Jordan Staal Pittsburgh Penguins Winnipeg Jets

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