In addition to Pat Dwyer and Joe Jensen, another huge name is missing from the River Rats lineup tonight.
Veteran forward Jeff Hamilton did not skate in warmups, and won't be playing. I'm hearing that its a collective bargaining agreement issue regarding re-entry waivers, but I'll have to get confirmation on that later. For now, all we know is Hamilton is out.
That leaves Albany with just 16 skaters, one under the maximum allowed to dress for an AHL game. Not exactly the position the Rats want to be in a game of such importance.
Albany's Mike Leighton will oppose John Curry, who has won six straight starts, in goal.
Line combinations from warmups were: Trevor Gillies (A)-Mike Angelidis-Brett Carson; Marc Cavosie-Kiel McLeod-Chris Blight and Nicolas Blanchard-Jamie Johnson (A)-Jakub Petruzalek. Joel Rechlicz is also dressed up front.
Defense pairings were Chris Murray-Brian Rodney; Casey Borer-Steve Ward; and Joey Mormina (C)-Noah Babin.
Tonight is Mormina's first time wearing the rotating captain's 'C' in place of Dwyer. He has been dressing as an alternate all month.
Forward David Gove, making his first return to Albany since being traded to Wilkes-Barre Jan. 31, is in the starting lineup for the Penguins, on a line with Nathan Smith and Jonathan Filewich.