Joe Vitale isn't available for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Ottawa Senators in Game 3 on Sunday.
It's unclear if he's injured or just a healthy scratch because he didn't participate in the morning skate. Vitale has managed an assist in four games during the 2013 playoffs.
Penguins forward Joe Vitale is working hard to make sure he remains in the Pittsburgh lineup for as long as he can.
Vitale watched the first four games of the postseason from the press box, but has been active ever since, contributing in ways that add value for the team. "I don't think I'm ever solidified," he said. "You look at the depth on this team. There's so much talent from one to four [lines] and the extras. It's kind of having that desperate mentality every time I play [that] any night I could be out again. That's kind of been my motivation since I got back in. It's gone well since then, so I'm hoping to keep it going." Provided he can remain productive centering the fourth line Vitale will continue to dress for the club.
Penguins Matt Niskanen recently found himself on the team's top defensive pairing alongside superstar Kris Letang.
Niskanen, who plays a fairly well-rounded game, understands he must play a more defensive style when paired with the Norris Trophy finalist. "Being aware of when [Letang] is being aggressive up the ice, I've got to be more responsible to let him do what he does," Niskanen said. It's a testament to his versatility that Niskanen can be paired with such an offensive partner after spending time alongside stay-at-home blueliner Doug Murray.
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury continues to await his chance to get back between the pipes in the postseason.
Fleury was replaced by backup Tomas Vokoun prior to Game Six of the team's first round series win over the Islanders who has yet to concede the role, posting a perfect 4-0 record in the process. Vokoun will be in goal for Game Three of their second round series in Ottawa Sunday, but it's anybody's guess which net minder gets the nod once the Penguins actually lose a game.
Despite being the winning goalie in the Penguins' 4-3 victory over the Senators Friday night, Tomas Vokoun did not play particularly well.
Many hold the view that Ottawa's first two goals were soft. Kyle Turris' goal went between Vokoun's legs and Colin Greening beat the Pens' goalie on the short side. Vokoun later rallied to make two outstanding stops on Sens' breakaways. It remains to be seen if Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma will give Marc-Andre Fleury an opportunity to play in the second round against the Sens.
Tomas Vokoun made 19 saves in Pittsburgh's 4-3 win against Ottawa in Game 2 of their semifinal series Friday night.
Vokoun made some key saves, but this really was not his finest effort as he looked shaky at times. He allowed a goal in each period. This performance could crack the door open a bit for Marc-Andre Fleury to get another opportunity, though the fact Vokoun has won his four playoff starts should matter more in the big picture. Vokoun has a 1.70 goals-against average and .945 percentage in the postseason. The Penguins take a 2-0 series lead into Ottawa for Game 3 on Sunday night.