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Insider Only Morning Skate Buzz: Signs point to 7-D again? Neal, Kunitz to rotate on top power play unit

GAME 5

MORNING SKATE BUZZ
— Defenseman Paul Martin remains out of the lineup tonight for the Penguins and will miss his second straight game tonight.

During line rushes this morning, Simon Despres and Ben Lovejoy worked exclusively as the extra pair with tonight’s scratch line of Dustin Jeffrey – Joe Vitale and Arron Asham. Despres though worked the point on the second power play unit, a sign the team will dress seven defensemen tonight.
The Penguins top three D-pairs included:
Brooks Orpik – Kris Letang
Matt Niskanen – Zbynek Michalek
Brian Strait – Deryk Engelland
TANGRADI IN IF PENS DRESS 12 FORWARDS
After a strong game in Game 4, expect winger Eric Tangradi to be in the lineup iF Bylsma goes with 12 forwards, which is a big if.
Tangradi was a regular this morning on the 4th line with Craig Adams and Richard Park.
POWER PLAY SETUP
1st Unit: Kunitz – Malkin – Crosby
Sullivan – Letang
2nd Unit: Cooke – Kennedy – Staal
Niskanen – Despres
*The plan going into tonight’s game appears to be for James Neal to rotate with Chris Kunitz. Sidney Crosby won’t be coming off the top unit.
MORNING SKATE LINES
Kunitz – Malkin – Neal
Sullivan – Crosby – Dupuis
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Tangradi – Adams – Park
Jeffrey – Vitale – Asham
D-PAIRS
Orpik – Letang
Niskanen – Michalek
Strait – Engelland
Despres – Lovejoy

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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