A trade that sent winger Jaromir Jagr from Dallas to Boston and into the Eastern Conference afforded the Penguins a chance to play against the future Hall of Famer tonight when they travel to face the Bruins.
Penguins winger Brenden Morrow, who, like Jagr, was shipped from Dallas around the NHL trade deadline, remains impressed by his 41-year-old former teammate.
"He works out two or three times a day," Morrow said. "He's constantly active, has a ton of energy. I don't know if 'rejuvenated' is the word -- I don't know what he was like when he was younger -- but he's really excited to be at the rink.
"Those types of things rub off when it's a guy who's been in the league that long and young guys see how professional he is to prepare for games. The excitement, the energy he has for the game, it's refreshing."
Not so much for those who must shut him down. The big, strong winger not only has been credited with helping several Bruins with pointers, but also has a goal and seven points in seven games with Boston.
Not that opponents are surprised.
"Obviously, even at 40-plus, he's still one of the top players in the game," Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton said. "He's a big body, he's strong, protects the puck as well as anybody in the game and he's difficult to play against."
Injury, roster updates
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin continues to practice with the team but remains day to day with what is believed to be an aggravated shoulder problem.
Two centers who left the win Wednesday against Montreal -- Jussi Jokinen (illness) and Joe Vitale (painful blocked shot) -- practiced Thursday and indicated that they are fine.
Defenseman Paul Martin (hand injury) skated again before practice. Winger James Neal (concussion) did not skate but worked out off the ice.
Center Sidney Crosby (jaw surgery) has been skating but took a leave from the team to attend a family funeral and was not on the ice.
Meanwhile, the Penguins recalled forward/enforcer Steve MacIntyre from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. There was no indication whether he might play tonight.
The Bruins' 3-2 shootout loss against Buffalo Wednesday was the first major sports event in that city since the bombings Monday near the Boston Marathon finish line.
There was an emotional pregame tribute that included the crowd loudly singing the national anthem and a postgame stick salute to the fans by both clubs.
"You've got to believe the whole city is still in shock," Penguins winger Tanner Glass said. "It's also going to be a little bit strange for us, coming into a city that's in turmoil."
The Penguins must try to forget that, at least for a few hours.
"We're professionals, and these are things that you kind of have to block out of your mind," Glass said.
"As insensitive as it may seem, it's part of the job we're in."
Playoff ticket sale
About 2,000 tickets to each of the first two home playoff games will go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday.
The team is suggesting buying them online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets also will be available the Consol Energy Center box office, Pittsburgh area Ticketmaster locations, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. There will be a lottery system used at the in-person ticket sites.
The Penguins have clinched a playoff berth and home-ice advantage for the first round, but their first-round opponent has not been determined.
Bruins Lucic in slump
Milan Lucic brings size, skill and production to the Boston lineup. Usually.
The winger topped 60 points each of the past two seasons. He has six goals, 24 points in 42 games this season, but he has dipped to one goal over his past 12 games and two points over his past six games.
At Bruins practice Thursday, Lucic was relegated to a fifth line, leading to speculation that he might be a healthy scratch tonight.
First Published April 19, 2013 4:00 AM