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Quick Hits: Pens look to combat Tampa’s 1-3-1 with an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck

Pens Sunday Night Quick Hits
— The Penguins spent an extensive amount of time today in practice working on beating the Lightning’s 1-3-1 trap.
The Penguins made some tweaks to their forecheck structure and project to give the Lightning a few different looks.
One formation the Penguins worked on today was an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck with the primary focus on two fore-checkers aggressively chasing the puck.
The Penguins didn’t get enough back side pressure against the Lightning in Game 2.
— The Penguins have surprisingly performed very well in the face-off circle. An area that was a big weakness for the Penguins during the regular season after the losses of Sidney Crosby and Dustin Jeffrey.
Through two games, Pittsburgh has a 130-125 edge in the face-off circle over the Lightning.
1. Jordan Staal – 20 W – 20 L (50.0%)
2. Mark Letestu – 14 W – 12 L (53.8%)
3. Max Talbot – 15 W – 13 L (53.6%)
4. Craig Adams – 9 W – 6 L (60.0%)
One notable stat, Jordan Staal is 10-3 (76.9%) on faceoffs when the Penguins are on the power play. Staal was 49.5% in the regular season on faceoffs when the Penguins were on the man-advantage..
— There was no indication in Sunday’s practice that the Penguins will make any lineup changes upfront. One I would consider is getting Eric Tangradi into the lineup on the 3rd line with Max Talbot and Pascal Dupuis.
In the minors, Tangradi has been most effective when he’s playing with grinders and third line type of players. The Penguins have not got enough traffic in front of Dwayne Roloson and Tangradi could provide that presence.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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