Tonight's exhibition game against the Rochester Americans – the first of the preseason – is a stepping stone for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
With a roster full of new faces, the game might not feature flawless play right off the bat, but that will come.
"With an exhibition game you have to approach it with an open mind," said veteran forward Warren Peters. "It's a building block to where we want to get to."
So what can be expected for the first time the new-look Penguins take on an opponent for the first time?
"The biggest part is going out there and being on the same page early," Peters said. "If guys are attempting to play the same game plan, that's probably what we're looking for the most."
Then there is the individual aspect.
Despite all the newcomers, head coach John Hynes said the coaching staff has a good idea of the style of game each player brings to the table during the last four days of training camp. Tonight, he said, they have to bring those elements to the game.
"If it's a highly offensive player we want to see that guy producing off scoring chances, within the team concept," Hynes said. "They have to bring their individual elements to the games. That's what is going to give them the best chance to win a roster spot."
And while Hynes is undecided on just how many players he'll keep for the opening night roster, he said there is more to it than simply earning a spot on the club.
It's about landing a starting job as one of the 12 forwards or six defensemen who will dress for the season opener.
And that will be hashed out not only in training camp, but during the four exhibition games the Penguins will play in the next five days.
"How they perform is going to determine who plays and who plays in what situations," Hynes said. "It's about getting into the opening night lineup."
Peters said it's a work in progress to get to that point. As the team gets more practices and exhibition games under its belt, the play – both as a group and individually – will improve.
It's a process that really gets under way with tonight's matchup in Rochester.
"The first (exhibition game) isn't going to be as well-executed as the fourth because you're looking at more practices and a couple more days for guys to work together," he said.
• Tuesday's scrimmage resulted in a 1-1 tie after two periods. Keven Veilleux scored for the black team while Philippe Dupuis notched the lone goal for the white squad. During the ensuing shootout, Brian Gibbons and Adam Payerl scored to pace the black team while Jayson Megna scored the lone goal on the white side.
• Hynes wasn't sure if Veilleux (recovering from knee surgery last season) would be ready for the season opener, but he is impressed with how he's performed so far in camp. "He's made huge progress and feels more comfortable with his knee," Hynes said. "Physically, he's going in the right direction."
• There is a possibility that some of the forward lines used during the training camp scrimmages will stick, Hynes said. Some of the interesting combinations included Trevor Smith-Beau Bennett-Eric Tangradi, Dominik Uher-Zach Sill-Riley Holzapfel, and Jayson Megna-Philippe Dupuis-Benn Ferriero.
• The organization is still working out details to bring Steve MacIntyre into camp. Hynes said the tough winger should be joining the team soon.
• Individual tickets for regular season home games will go on sale Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. The Penguins home opener is Oct. 20 against Bridgeport.