Game 2 Pre-Game Buzz

Puck Drop: 8:25 p.m.

Friday afternoon there was some skepticism that Chris Kunitz would be able to play in Game 2. Kunitz, though, is fine after taking a puck to the head in Game 1 and will be in the lineup tonight.

If Kunitz was not going to be able to play, the Penguins intended to put Justin Schultz in the lineup and go with seven ‘D’.

Many might be wondering what’s going on with Beau Bennett?

He continues to practice but all indications on Bennett are same as just prior to Game 1 of the Rangers series. As one source put it before the start of the New York series, Bennett won’t be playing another game this season.

For the Capitals they will make one lineup change.

Former Penguin Taylor Chorney will draw into the lineup in place of the struggling Dmitri Orlov. Chorney over Mike Weber is a smart move for Washington as the Penguins have field days against slow footed defensemen like Weber.

If the Capitals keep Alzner-Niskanen vs Crosby, Orpik-Carlson vs Malkin, the Bonino line figures to see their share of time against the Caps third pairing of Nate Schmidt – Taylor Chorney.

One matchup Mike Sullivan made clear today he won’t be going away from is Sidney Crosby against the Ovechkin line.

“I’m not going to avoid it,” Sullivan said during his pre-game media session. “We don’t mind that matchup. I think Sid’s line can play against anybody and he’s done that all year long and they’ve produced. Even though they didn’t score the other night, doesn’t mean that they didn’t have quality chances or have a fair amount of offensive zone time. We liked a lot of what Sid’s line did.”

— On Marc Andre Fleury, a team source [hide] says Fleury has had a “much better week”, further indicating Fleury’s “heading in right direction.”

This one, though, is starting to feel like Sidney Crosby’s situation from 2011 playoffs where he was practicing with the team, even looking close at times, but in reality wasn’t close to returning.

pitPenguins Lineup

Conor Sheary – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin – Nick Bonino – Phil Kessel
Chris Kunitz – Evgeni Malkin – Eric Fehr
Tom Kuhnhackl – Matt Cullen – Bryan Rust

Olli Maatta – Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin – Trevor Daley
Ian Cole – Ben Lovejoy

Matt Murray
Jeff Zatkoff

Washington CapitalsCapitals Lineup

Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Justin Williams
Jason Chimera – Mike Richards – Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner – Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik – John Carlson
Nate Schmidt – Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby
Philipp Grubauer[/hide]