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Penguins notebook: Iginla gets green light to shoot more

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By Josh Yohe
Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 7:06 p.m.

• It remains to be seen if Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla and Chris Kunitz will remain a line combination once injured stars Sidney Crosby and James Neal return to the lineup. One thing, though, is certain. Malkin and Kunitz want Iginla to play the role of trigger man as long as the trio remains together. Malkin and Kunitz spoke with Iginla before the Penguins played at Carolina on Tuesday, and the message was clear. They don't want Iginla deferring to anyone. “Kuny and ‘G' both talked to me,” Iginla said. “They said to shoot the puck.” Iginla forced a turnover in the third period against Carolina that led to Malkin's game-winner. The line was terrific during the final 20 minutes against the Hurricanes, nearly scoring on a couple of other occasions. Iginla had a chance to score on a rush but, instead, made one pass too many, surprising Kunitz with a feed. “Kuny gave me the look,” Iginla said. “I passed up a good one.” Still, Iginla feels like the line is on the verge of a breakout performance. “It started to feel a lot better there in the third period,” he said. “It's starting to come.”

• Defenseman Kris Letang skated with the top power play during Wednesday's practice, something he hadn't done in earlier days. It remains unknown whether he will play against Tampa Bay on Thursday.

• Left wing Brenden Morrow did not practice Wednesday but was not injured, receiving what coach Dan Bylsma refers to as a “maintenance day.”

• Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos trails Crosby by six points in the NHL scoring race. Thursday's game will mark the fifth straight game Crosby has missed with a broken jaw.

— Josh Yohe

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