The Pittsburgh Penguins will be fighting for their playoff lives tonight in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Sorry Craig Adams and Joey Vitale, but trailing 3-0 series and being outscored 11-2 in three games, how about the Penguins do something bold and dress their best 12 offensive forwards regardless of the impact in other areas. There is nothing to lose.
This is a team that has yet to hold a lead in the series.
Here are Four lines I’d go with tonight:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Beau Bennett – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Brenden Morrow – Jussi Jokinen – Jarome Iginla
Matt Cooke – Brandon Sutter – Tyler Kennedy
*1st Line: The Crosby line could be in need of a shakeup but the three started to show some life in latter part of Game 3, most notably Sidney Crosby who in the third period and overtimes started having some jump in his legs for the first time in the series……..2nd Line: Evgeni Malkin and James Neal have no goals or points in the series. They need someone who can get them the puck in prime scoring areas. Enter Beau Bennett who played well in Game 3 and has excellent vision……..3rd Line: In the final 10 regular season games, Jussi Jokinen was one of the Penguins best offensive players in a top-6 role. What I would do tonight is reunite him with Brenden Morrow and Jarome Iginla and look to go with a third scoring line. Jokinen and Morrow played very well together in the regular season with either Iginla or Beau Bennett on the right side with them……4th Line: This is a line you know what you’re going to get. Ability to be physical, play defensive sound hockey and possibly chip in offensively. The Penguins will have scoring options on all four lines.
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Jarome Iginla
Pascal Dupuis – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Brenden Morrow – Jussi Jokinen – Beau Bennett
Matt Cooke – Brandon Sutter – Tyler Kennedy
*Why Bylsma wouldn’t dress this lineup: I can’t imagine Bylsma being comfortable enough to sit Craig Adams tonight, one of the Penguins best penalty killers. That said, it’s desperate times and the Penguins would be fine without Adams as they still have enough viable penalty killers at the forward position in Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Brandon Sutter, Jussi Jokinen, Chris Kunitz, and Sidney Crosby with this potential lineup.