Penguins Notebook: Hossa will not face Capitals today
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CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.-- Penguins winger Marian Hossa will not return to the lineup for today's game at Washington as the team had hoped.
Hossa, acquired from Atlanta at the Feb. 26 trade deadline, left his first game with his new team Feb. 28 with a sprained right knee.
- Matchup: Penguins at Washington Capitals, 12:38 p.m., Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
- TV, radio: WPXI, WXDX-FM (105.9).
- Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury for Penguins. Olie Kolzig for Capitals.
- Penguins: Are 4-1 on Sundays. ... Ryan Malone has 4 goals in past 4 games. ... Are 17-9-7 in one-goal games.
- Capitals: Had two-game winning streak snapped yesterday. ... Are one goal shy of 200 for season. ... Kolzig needs one win for 300 in his career.
- Hidden stat: The Penguins' next road win will be No. 20; only the 1992-93 team (24) and the 2006-07 team (21) had more.
"He's not ready. He's getting closer," coach Michel Therrien said after practice yesterday at Incredible Ice before the team flew north.
Hossa continued to skate with fellow injured forwards Gary Roberts and Kris Beech before practice, then, for the first time since the injury, stayed out for the first 20 minutes with the rest of his teammates.
Therrien described Hossa as day-to-day.
Hossa is expected to play with center Sidney Crosby when he gets into the lineup. His next chance to do that will be Wednesday at home against Buffalo.
"An injury like that, the player's got to feel comfortable," Therrien said.
Therrien clarified his statements from Thursday night after the Penguins lost to Florida, 5-2, when he called out the team's leadership for recent slow starts.
"It's not a matter of me asking players to act as a leader," Therrien said. "Everyone's got to be a leader. It's not three or four guys. When I said it's about leadership, everyone's got to be a leader.
"When you're a leader, you're responsible to come to the rink and prepare to play. That's your responsibility as a professional player. That's their job. I could say it different ways, but, for me, it's leadership. Leadership comes from everyone involved in the game."
Crosby, the captain, agreed with his coach, but he also believes those who are specifically identified as team leaders bear a little extra responsibility.
"You can't afford to have a bad 10 minutes or a bad period. You can't accept that," said Crosby, who will play his third game today after missing more than six weeks with an ankle injury.
"Everyone's got to lead, but, when you have a letter on your jersey, you want to make sure you lead by example. For me, the last couple games I haven't felt like I'm where I should be, and I don't think I should feel great after missing that time. But I have to make sure I do everything I can to work hard and do everything in my power to get the best out of myself."
Although Therrien still plans to manage his goaltenders by rewarding good performances with additional starts, he's not going to be so rigid that he's always going to switch any time one of them loses or gets pulled.
So, even though Marc-Andre Fleury lasted just one period Thursday before yielding to Ty Conklin, Fleury will be back in net today.
"It's the same thing we did with Conklin. He didn't play well briefly against Boston [Feb. 28], and we brought him back" the next game, Therrien said. "You've got to show confidence. If they're shaking [worried about being replaced], they don't play good. They've got to play with a certain degree of confidence.
"Yes, we're going to judge results, but we have to show them confidence."
The Penguins ended up with a hot, sunny break on their day off Friday. Most hit the beach near their Fort Lauderdale hotel.
"It just kind of gets your mind away from the game," said winger Ryan Malone, who was a bit pink. "You get to hang out with the guys, which we don't have that many chances to do. It was a good time for everybody. The weather topped it off."
First Published March 9, 2008 12:00 am