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Insider Only With return close, Chris Kunitz will play with Jordan Staal

Chris Kunitz and Jordan Staal have often been seen as a very good fit together and the two will become regular linemates moving forward, possibily as early as tomorrow night against the Buffalo Sabres at the Consol Energy Center.

Despite not skating on one of the top-4 lines this morning, head coach Dan Bylsma called Kunitz “probable” for tomorrow night (although we’ve been hearing that for a few games now) against the Sabres.
So where will Kunitz fit into the lineup when he returns at somepoint this week?
As expected, it will be with Jordan Staal.
Bylsma said today that Kunitz will “likely” play with Staal at center and Tyler Kennedy on the right wing.
“As far as the centerman {who Kunitz will play with}, most likely would be Jordan Staal, left wing with Staal and Kennedy, ” Bylsma said. “He played with Jordan Staal when he first got here for a number of games, and had success there. He’s a good fit..”
Kunitz who has missed 13 straight games, has 18 goals on the season and was on pace for a 28 goal season.
With Kunitz’ return to the lineup now imminent, someone will have to come out of the lineup.
Pittsburgh’s top-2 lines are shaping up with Neal – Letestu – Kovalev, following by Kunitz – Staal – Kennedy.
It appears Matt Cooke will get bumped down to third line left winger with Dustin Jeffrey in the middle and Pascal Dupuis on right wing.
Max Talbot figures to get demoted to the 4th line with the likes of Mike Rupp, Craig Adams and Chris Conner.
Chris Conner appears to be the most likely candidate to sit tomorrow night but Conner is coming off a couple strong games after seeing his play slip a bit of late.

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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