As the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to prepare for the Game Wednesday, Philly is preparing also and at this point, it looks as though their best player will be on the ice for the game Wednesday.
Giroux took a huge hit against the Pens and was out for some time. He was instructed by his coach, not to talk about if he will be able to play on Wednesday though he was on the ice both yesterday and today. These were the lines as they practiced the last couple of days.
The Flyers team and coaching staff had been doing a lot of talking about the Pens in week leading up to the playoffs, then things had kind of gone silent. Don’t think for a second that that will continue, especially on the ice. The Flyers are going to try to get under the Pens skin at all cost. That plan has worked to perfection throughout the season, except of course the last game but that game meant nothing to the Flyers. I think it will be important for them to key on a player such as Evgeni Malkin, whom has shown an inability to control his pre and post whistle extracurricular activity. From the Pens stand point, Malkin can not get involved with this activity in the series.
The Penguins will need all hands on deck in this series. They can not win without a group effort from the entire team, especially the stars. As for the Penguins in practice today, Niskanen was the only one not on the ice for the practice and is considered to be a game time decision. Matt Cooke was back from his Maintenance day and was also on the ice. The Pens lines were the same as they were yesterday, and the Power Play units shook out this way.
Letang, Crosby, Malkin, Neal and Kunitz on the first unit and the second power play unit will consist of Martin, Sullivan, Cooke, Staal and Kennedy. (Sam Kasan Pens Report) The Penguins power play unit will need to be better than it was last year though all signs are pointing that it will be. The struggles are not the same as they were last season. They are playing better, and you can contribute that more than likely to the overall health of the team, especially the teams biggest stars.