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Insider Only Tuesday Playoff Report: Glimpse of how D-Pairs Will Shake Out with Maatta’s Return & Latest Goaltending Buzz

Tuesday Penguins Playoff Report

Olli Maatta’s return to the lineup for Game 1 will send Ben Lovejoy back to the press box which won’t be shocking to anyone.

The question with Maatta has been, where should he play?

Trevor Daley and Kris Letang were extremely productive together as a pair over the final couple weeks of the season. When Daley and Letang were on the ice together, Pittsburgh controlled 56% of their 5 v 5 shot attempts with a 2.78 Goals/60 and 1.38 Goals Against/60. There was no surprise that the Penguins drove possession with those two as a pairing but the two were a little better defensively together than expected.

Penguins coaches, though, believe Daley is better on the right side which makes the decision of where play Olli Maatta an easy one.

Maatta in today’s practice saw the bulk of reps with Kris Letang a clear sign he’s going to play there on Wednesday night.

While a notoriously slow starter when coming back from injury, the Penguins in a perfect situation would probably like to limit Maatta’s minutes a bit, but if the Penguins are going to play Maatta, there’s no other choice but to play him in the top-4.

Ian Cole and Justin Schultz just aren’t suited to be over-taxed and play more than a third pairing role.

GOALTENDING BUZZ

While opinions are flying among some in the media that Marc Andre Fleury doesn’t look right and shouldn’t play Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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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