Penguins Whitney back on the blue line

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NEW YORK -- Ryan Whitney's exile to left wing is over.

Whitney, a defenseman, will be back in his usual role when the Penguins face the New York Rangers tonight at 7:08 at Madison Square Garden.

He is scheduled to be paired with veteran Darryl Sydor. Rookie Kristopher Letang will be scratched to open a spot for Whitney on defense.

Coach Michel Therrien, who moved Whitney from defense to left wing to express his displeasure with Whitney's performance, confirmed after the game-day skate that Whitney is going back to the blue line.

"He's part of our top six (defensemen)," Therrien said. "I wanted to see how he was going to react, and I liked his attitude yesterday. I liked the way he played (during a 3-1 victory against the Rangers). It was time to give him a shot."

With Whitney removed from the mix at left wing, left winger Jeff Taffe will be back in uniform tonight.

Although Penguins center Sidney Crosby was the first player off the ice at the optional morning skate, leaving after about 15 minutes, Therrien confirmed that he will be in the lineup tonight.

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is scheduled to make his sixth start in the past seven games for the Penguins.


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