The Pittsburgh Penguins might have a little bit of a new look to their lineup come Game 5.
During Pittsburgh’s Thursday morning skate, Sam Kasan of the teams’ official website reported that their lines looked as follows:
- Kunitz — Crosby — Dupuis
- Neal — Malkin — Iginla
- Morrow — Sutter — Cooke
- Adams — Vitale — Kennedy
- Glass — Jokinen — Bennett
- Orpik — Martin
- Murray — Niskanen
- Despres — Letang
- Eaton — Engelland
- 1st PP: Crosby — Iginla — Letang — Malkin — Kunitz/Neal
- 2nd PP: Dupuis — Kennedy — Martin — Morrow — Niskanen
After deeming Tomas Vokoun the lead man in net for Thursday’s matchup — it looks as though head coach Dan Bylsma isn’t done making changes.
Bylsma inserted Joe Vitale and Tyler Kennedy onto the fourth line in practice rather than Tanner Glass and Jussi Jokinen (who’ve played every game so far this series) — and Simon Despres was paired with Kris Letang on defense instead of Mark Eaton (who also has played every contest thus far).
The moves are good indications that the three new additions will jump into game-action for Thursday — however nothing’s been confirmed.
Forward Brandon Sutter — who was dropped to being the fourth line center in Game 4 — sequentially has returned to third line duties with Brenden Morrow and Matt Cooke.
The changes in the lineup can only speculate that the Pens want to add a little more speed to their game.
Pittsburgh has seen how fast the New York Islanders can break out into their offensive rushes — the adjustments made towards Thursday’s starting lineup are implemented to match that same intensity and limit opposing opportunity.
Having the adrenaline pumping is good — but discipline is ultimately going to play a huge role in how well the Penguins are able to dictate the outcome of the game.
Emotions are strung out constantly in playoff hockey — it’s all in how you can control them — and at the conclusion of the Game 4 Pittsburgh could not.
Contain the frustration.
And for cryin’ out loud — stay out of the box!
Game 5, Thursday in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m.