Cooke expected back in lineup
• LW Matt Cooke expects to play tonight against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Cooke has missed four consecutive games due to injured ribs, but he resumed skating this week and said Friday after practice he would “play (tonight) … if it keeps going the way it is.” Added Cooke, speaking about his ribs: “It’s a management thing, basically. They usually take a long time. But I’ve allowed them to heal naturally. I’m rid of the sharp pains.”
• D Hal Gill could return to the lineup at some point during the Penguins’ four-game road trip, coach Michel Therrien said. It is unlikely he will play tonight. Gill did not play Thursday against Carolina at Mellon Arena due to an undisclosed injury. He is believed to have injured his right hand on a blocked shot Monday at Boston. Gill did not practice yesterday.
• Therrien said the Penguins will not add a defenseman to the roster at the start of this trip. However, the team did make a roster move. LW Bill Thomas, a Fox Chapel High School graduate, was re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. He had appeared in two games.
• G Marc-Andre Fleury is still looking for his first NHL goal, though not for a lack of trying. He attempted to score Thursday into an open net with Carolina’s goaltender pulled late and the Penguins ahead by two goals in the third period. His long-range shot drifted wide left, leaving Fleury exasperated – and two goals behind captain Sidney Crosby on the season. “I was going to try to chase him down,” Fleury joked. “Another game, I guess.”
13 — Evgeni Malkin’s point total through eight games
8 — Malkin’s point total through eight games last season