Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Crosby has history on MTS Centre ice

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HIS first NHL game in Winnipeg is already elevated to event status.

And it sounds like Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby knows what he's in for in his 439th career NHL regular-season game tonight. The Pens meet the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre.

"It's an exciting atmosphere," Crosby told pittsburghpenguins.com Thursday after the team's practice at home. "We know they play well there. I played world junior there for a couple games. It's exciting. It's a good building. They're excited to have hockey there."

Crosby, before he was selected first overall in the 2005 entry draft, was part of the gold-medal-winning Team Canada that trained here and played two exhibition games in the MTS Centre prior to the world junior in Grand Forks, N.D. Last season because of the symptoms of concussion, Crosby missed three of four games the Penguins played against the Jets.

BIG FAN OF THE BIG MAN: Claude Noel on the play of veteran Nik Antropov through the first three games:

"I've been really happy with Antropov. He's a really good player. He's good in the room, he's good with his teammates. He's one of those guys that when you coach you get to appreciate. You think you'd say that about all players, but some players you have to coach them to see how they really are. For example, (assistant coach) Perry (Pearn) said he thought he was a quite a bit better player than he (thought). He's a detail guy. He's an easy guy to play with because he protects the puck, he knows where you are and he's really intelligent."

RIDING THE HOT HAND: Ondrej Pavelec figures to get the start in goal again for the Jets. As to when Al Montoya might make his debut, Noel isn't tipping his hand.

"No, I don't have a plan that way yet," said Noel. "The plan is for us to win and ride whatever it is we have and go with what we have."

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Winnipeg's Feb. 17 home game against the Boston Bruins has been moved to a 5 p.m. start time.

-- Campbell, Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2013 C4

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