Sep 19, 2011; Buffalo, NY, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Zach Boychuk (11) in play against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Boychuk with Malkin and Neal?


Newly-acquired forward Zach Boychuk could be thrown into the mix right away.

Rob Rossi, of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, is reporting that Boychuk could see time playing alongside forwards Evgeni Malkin and James Neal on the second line.

Head Coach Dan Bylsma said,

“He’s going to add some competition to our lineup.  He could see time on Malkin’s wing.”

Boychuk, who was acquired by the Penguins from the Carolina Hurricanes via waivers, has been playing for the Hurricanes AHL affiliate the Charlotte Checkers.

Although he has jumped back-and-forth from the NHL to the AHL, Boychuk seemed to be having success in the AHL this season.  So far this year, he has collected 32 points (16G, 16A) in 37 games.

The former 2008 first-round-selection (14th overall), is still just 23-years-old.  And now that he has joined the Pens, the sky is the limit for the youngster.  The thought of potentially lining up with the reigning MVP has got to peak Boychuk’s interest.

This could also mean the end of the Eric Tangradi experiment.

Tangradi was suppose to be the final forward that rounded out the top-six for the Pens.  Struggling early, he then found himself playing on the fourth line.  And now the Pens are healthy-scratching the forward.

The 23-year-old forward just hasn’t been what the Penguins had hoped he’d be when they acquired him.  Since coming over in the Ryan Whitney deal, Tangradi has seen only 45 games with the team.

This year, Tangradi has yet to register a point.  Which is unacceptable, considering he played with two of the teams three best offensive talents in Malkin and Neal.

Stay tuned to what unfolds with the ever-so-discussful second line.

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