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Penguins notebook: Gibbons skates, status for Game 4 still unclear

Penguins/NHL Videos

By Josh Yohe and Rob Rossi
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 6:51 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Forward Brian Gibbons skated without any apparent problem Tuesday, though it remains unknown whether he will return from his injury for Wednesday's Game 4 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Coach Dan Bylsma did make something clear: Gibbons' spot in the lineup is safe.

Coaches seldom reveal lineup or injury information during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but Bylsma hinted Gibbons doesn't need to worry about finding a roster spot once healthy.

“I would have liked Brian Gibbons to have continued on with the game he was having in Pittsburgh,” Bylsma said, noting Gibbons' two goals in less than three minutes of playing time before leaving with an injury after a collision with Blue Jackets' center Ryan Johansen.

“When he gets healthy, we'll try to find a spot for him.”

Gibbons skated for about 40 minutes Tuesday. He spoke with reporters after his workout but said he was unsure when he would return.

“There's no timetable,” he said.

• Center Marcel Goc (foot) participated in an optional practice, but he is not yet cleared for regular action. A third-line center, Goc has missed 11 straight games dating to the regular season. The Penguins have not ruled out that he could play in Round 1, and Goc has increased his on-ice workload since resuming skating last week.

• The Penguins held an optional practice Tuesday afternoon at Nationwide Arena. Twelve players participated in a light workout, though the majority of the Penguins' biggest names — including forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Chris Kunitz — did not skate. Columbus also held an optional skate.

• Regional TV ratings were strong around Pittsburgh and Columbus for Game 3. The Penguins broadcast on Root Sports drew an 11.34 rating, or about 354,375 viewers, based on overnight projections from Nielsen Media Research. The Blue Jackets' broadcast on Fox Sports Ohio had a record 8.3 rating, or about 190,000 viewers.

• Tickets for Game 5 at Consol Energy Center remain available at Ticketmaster's website and locations and the arena box office. The game is scheduled for Saturday, but a time has not been set.

— Josh Yohe and Rob Rossi



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