Apr 16, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner (38) battles for the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Tanner Glass (left) and center Joe Vitale (46) during the second period in game one of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pens to Shuffle Third and Fourth Lines for Game 5?


The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading into a pivotal Game 5 with Columbus Saturday, and it seems as though head coach Dan Bylsma is set to switch the lines up a bit.

According to the Pens’ Twitter handle, while the Pens’ first two lines remained the same in Saturday’s practice, the third-line now has Joe Vitale playing wing, and the fourth has Marcel Goc centering it.

Although the lineup is considered a game-time decision, we should be prepared to see these lines at puck drop.

Despite there being no confirmation regarding Goc’s availability for tonight, the fact he’s now centered the fourth-line for the past two days in practice suggest he’s all but ready to make his return. However, it remains to be seen how effective he’ll be.

Goc’s re-insertion is without a doubt a boost, but jumping into a crucial game against a fiery team – in the playoffs no less – is always questionable. Goc is a tremendous face-off player, and puck-mover, so his addition is obviously much needed. It’ll also be interesting to see how Vitale fairs as well.

Vitale is certainly a speedy guy, and does a great job of getting in front of the net; however, for the majority of this series he’s been playing the role of fourth-line center. So, will he be a little shaky on the wing? It shouldn’t interfere with him making an impact, but we’ll see.

Brian Gibbons was absent from practice, meaning his status for tonight is doubtful.

Game 5 can be seen on the NBC Sports Network, and is set to start at 7 p.m.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins

comments powered by Disqus