When the Penguins moved to an up-tempo system under head coach Dan Bylsma, the difference was putting a strong emphasis on being aggressive in the neutral zone and quicker movement in their transition game.
Where the Penguins believe they can exploit the Hurricanes is through a quick transition game tonight. The Penguins managed 31 shots on goal in game 1, slightly under their average against the Capitals.
Because of how aggressive the Hurricanes are on the fore-check, the Penguins see an opportunity that if they can counter the Hurricanes aggressive fore-check with a quick transition game, it will lead to scoring chances and odd-man rushes.
This is a reason the Penguins put a strong emphasis on their transition game in film sessions and in Wednesday’s practice.
What to watch for in tonight’s game is a play where Kris Letang fires the puck off the boards in the defensive zone with the intended recipient near the boards at the red line in the neutral zone.
The Penguins have used this play the past couple games and have worked on it during breakout drills in practice.
Canes using Matt Cooke’s knee-to-knee hit as motivation
There’s some media buzz around
the Hurricanes locker room that the Hurricanes are using Matt Cooke’s knee-to-knee hit as motivation for tonight’s game according to some of their beat writers.
The players have talked about how if it was anyone else then they would believe the hit was accidental but since it was Cooke, they’re not buying it.
Did the Penguins sit back in game 1?
Went over the tape of game 1 and after the Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead, they sat back a bit in the 2nd and 3rd periods.
The Penguins still play a 1-2-2 at times but they are usually more aggressive with their fore-check system than they were Monday night.
Canes to mix up lines
Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice indicated during his afternoon media session that Eric Staal could see some new linemates tonight. The Hurricanes went with the same lines in the skate but it’s believed Eric Cole could be moved up to the top line with Ray Whitney and Eric Staal.
Penguins Power Play unit gaining confidence
The Penguins were 1-for-4 on the power play in game 1 and are now 10-for-38 in their past 8 games. In practice they are showing more chemistry and they appear to have more confidence than they did in the early goings of the playoffs.