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Insider Only Penguins prepare for Game 6, Bylsma alters line combinations

Friday’s Practice Report
The Penguins just concluded their morning practice at Mellon Arena as the team prepares to travel to Philadelphia this afternoon.
The practice was scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. but the players did not come on the ice until about 11:30 a.m.
The Penguins had two different set of line combinations throughout the practice. Here’s what went down at today’s skate.

No optional practice from the Penguins this time around. With no morning skate on Saturday and coming off a loss, the Penguins went through a regular practice at Mellon Arena today.
The team held a close door meeting between the players and the coaching staff believed to be going over some tape of yesterday’s game and some adjustments the Penguins needed to make
Sykora unhappy
* Kris Letang was on the ice today and claims that he was healthy enough to play yesterday. From what I was told Petr Sykora is still not happy about the benching.
Where has the aggressive attack been?
The past two games the Penguins have not been setting the tone and attacking the Flyers offensively like they were in Games 1 & 2.
Today, the Penguins went back to a lot of uptempo style drills including a strong emphasis on regroups in the neutral zone with the idea of forcing the play.
The Penguins need to get back to pushing the play and being more aggressive in the neutral zone like they were in game 1.
Power Play Set Up
Kunitz – Malkin – Crosby
Boucher/Letang – Gonchar
Notes: Bill Guerin and Jordan Staal took a few shifts with the first team in place of Chris Kunitz.
I thought it was interesting that Staal got some shifts because I haven’t seen him getting any reps with the 1st unit.
I would still be surprised if we see him with the first unit at all on Saturday.
As always the Penguins worked on set plays but nothing eye-popping. The Penguins are 4-for-29 in the series and 0-for-9 in their last two games.
On the blueline, Boucher and Letang split time about evenly.
There were two different set of line combinations today
Line Combinations at beginning of practice
Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin
Fedotenko – Malkin – Talbot
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Dupuis – Adams – Godard
Extras: Sykora, Satan
Lines near the end of practice
Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin
Fedotenko – Malkin – Satan
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Dupuis – Talbot – Adams
Extras: Godard, Sykora
Lineupnews: For the majority of the practice, Petr Sykora and Miroslav Satan were on the Penguins 5th line during multiple drills.
Near the end of practice, Satan did take some shifts with Malkin and Fedotenko.
Sykora will be a healthy scratch
Sykora did not take any shifts with the Penguins top four lines and will be an healthy scratch tomorrow.
Godard in the lineup remains to be seen I am told. I would be surprised if we see him in Game 6 despite, getting shifts with the 4th line today.
When Satan took shifts with Malkin, Fedotenko, Talbot went back to the fourth line.
Blymsa indicated Boucher and Satan will be game time decisions but I can confirm Sykora will be scratched.
Adams getting a look at center is not surprising as I mentioned a few days ago, Adams was working on the side with the coaching staff taking on face-offs.
more to come

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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