Penguins facing a travel dilemma

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MONTREAL--Washington is one of many cities in the East being battered by snow today, and reports this morning indicate that travel into and out of that area is treacherous, at best.

That's an issue for the Penguins, who will face Montreal today at 2:08 p.m. at the Bell Centre but are scheduled to play Washington at the Verizon Center Sunday at 12:08 p.m.

Team officials still are trying to settle on the best way to get the team to Washington after the game against the Canadiens Because virtually all air traffic into that region has been stopped, one option might be to fly as close as they can, then take a train or bus the rest of the way.

Of course, that assumes that the trains are running or that the highways are passable.

While there's no indication yet that Sunday's game will be postponed, it's a possibility that, for obvious reasons, hasn't been ruled out, either.

The league has not taken an official position yet -- that's understandable, since the situation still is developing and could change dramatically in coming hours -- a member of the NHL office has offered this assessment:

"Commissioner (Gary Bettman), Bill Daly (the deputy commissioner) and Colin Campbell (the director of hockey operations) are monitoring this closely. They're the ones who would make any decision. And they're in contact with both teams, D.C. municipal officials and the weather services.

"The call will be based on whether the Pens can get out of Montreal and into D.C. and whether it's safe for players and fans to get to the arena."

Although the Penguins' game at Montreal should proceed with no problem -- it's sunny here, without a snowflake in the air -- a game between their Wilkes-Barre farm team and Washington's American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey Saturday evening already has been postponed.

It will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. in Hershey.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

For more on the Penguins, read the Pens Plus blog with Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Dave Molinari: dmolinari@post-gazette.com


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