The Penguins held an optional skate this morning, coming off of their 3-2 OT win in Game 3.
The Penguins avoided going down 3-0 and played their best game of the series and momentum could slightly be turning towards Pittsburgh.
Following last night’s game, the line change of bumping up Max Talbot to the second line has been attributed to sparking Evgeni Malkin’s dominant game 3 performance. Talbot provided energy, and a physical presence in the corners which Malkin has lacked on his right side with Petr Sykora.
Dan Bylsma has no plans to switch that line in game 4. “He has an energy and a physical presence on the offense and a forechecking presence and puck-retrieving presence that adds something to that line,” Bylsma said in his post-game comments on what Talbot adds to Malkin’s line.
Only a handful of players skated this morning. Eric Godard, Philippe Boucher, Petr Sykora, Brad Thiessen and Mathieu Garon were among the eight skaters as the rest of the team was in the facility participating in off-ice workouts and getting treatment.
Evgeni Malkin was in the
facility getting some treatment on his lower thigh as he suffered a charley horse in the third period.
Malkin’s performance Wednesday night has some of the media in Washington thinking that this series could be turning towards the Penguins. We will find out on Friday night.
Sidney Crosby talked after practice that the Penguins could easily be up 2-1 in the series and likes his chances if the Penguins continue to play at the level they did in game 3.
Crosby added: “I feel like we’ve out-chanced them over the three games. It doesn’t matter, because we’re down 2-1 but the belief in what we need to do is there and we’re seeing some good results. We’re confident that if we play this way, we’re going to give ourselves a good chance.”
Petr Sykora was scratched in game 3 and were told Bylsma believes Satan is a better fit on the 4th line than Sykora would be for when Bylsma opts to go with Max Talbot on the second line.
That played into his thinking last night and I thought Satan played well, he was making things happen and he was working hard.
Scouts I’ve talked too tell me, the biggest issue with Satan is not his skating, but it’s that his shot and hands have gone south the past two seasons.
His release is too slow and he has lost velocity on his shot. It’s something that happens to players on the downside of their career.
Will have more later this afternoon. On the health front, the Penguins are a healthy team right now which isn’t the case for the Washington Capitals as Sergei Fedorov Eric Fehr and John Erskine are banged up
Photo courtesy of Dan4th