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Penguins notebook: Megna replaces injured Gibbons

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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Jason Megna (right) sits on the bench during Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series Monday, April 21, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Josh Yohe and Rob Rossi
Monday, April 21, 2014, 8:27 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Injured winger Brian Gibbons was unable to play for the Penguins in Game 3 of an opening-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night at Nationwide Arena.

A player of similar physical attributes replaced him.

Winger Jayson Megna played on the fourth line with center Joe Vitale and right wing Craig Adams. Gibbons had been used at times on the top line with captain Sidney Crosby and winger Chris Kunitz.

Megna, who never had played in an NHL postseason contest, said he wanted to use his speed to contribute, as Gibbons had.

“It's one of my biggest assets,” Megna said. “And I want to be as physical as I can. That's going to be a factor for me.”

Gibbons, who was injured in Game 2 on Saturday night after a collision with Columbus center Ryan Johansen, made the trip but was unable to play or practice Monday. He favored his shoulder after the hit. Gibbons scored two goals early in Game 2 before departing.

Per team policy, the Penguins do not provide details regarding players' injuries during the playoffs.

Welcome return

Columbus coach Todd Richards was thrilled to bring winger Nick Foligno back into the lineup for Game 3.

Foligno missed Games 1 and 2 and eight consecutive overall contests because of a knee injury.

To open Game 3, Foligno played with fellow winger R.J. Umberger and center Artem Anisimov.

“Nick's the one guy on our team that breaks down a defense on his own,” Richards said before Game 3.

In 70 regular-season games, Foligno scored 18 goals and recorded 39 points.

Defensive switch

The Blue Jackets replaced injured defenseman Fedor Tyutin with Dalton Prout for Game 3.

Prout, who played in 49 regular-season games, had not appeared in the series against the Penguins. Tyutin's injury in Game 2 forced the Blue Jackets to finish with five defensemen.

Conner recalled

Winger Chris Conner rejoined the Penguins after spending time with AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on a conditioning assignment.

Conner has not played since Dec. 31 because of various injuries. He initially was out with a broken hand. That healed, but Conner's foot was broken in early March.

In 19 regular-season games, Conner produced four goals and an assist.

Goc on trip

Center Marcel Goc (ankle) accompanied the Penguins on the road for Games 3 and 4 and skated with reserves and other injured players after a morning practice.

Goc has missed 11 consecutive games dating to the regular season. The Penguins have not ruled him out from returning to play in Round 1.

Goc was the third-line center at the time of his injury.

Around the boards

Tickets for Game 5 remain available at Ticketmaster's website and outlets. The game is scheduled for Saturday, but a time has not been set. … Columbus hosted only its third Stanley Cup playoff game Monday night.

Josh Yohe and Rob Rossi are staff writers for Trib Total Media.

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