Pens coach Dan Bylsma admitted he was considering playing Eric Tangradi, a young player who has helped the team on the power play. Rough defenseman Deryk Engelland was also in the mix to get into his first playoff game, with forward Chris Conner and defenseman Matt Niskanen being considered most likely targets to sit.
Instead, Bylsma has opted to use the very same lineup that he has in six games. The only difference was when Tangradi played in Chris Kunitz’s stead. Kunitz was suspended by the NHL and unavailable.
Unsurpisingly, Sidney Crosby will miss tonight’s game as well. Crosby has been sidelined with a concussion since January 5th, and though he has progressed through some stages of a recovery, Crosby has not taken physical contact in practice. And in fact, Crosby has not skated with his teammates at a practice since April 20th. It remains unknown when Crosby might return to the lineup, but one thing is for sure: if Pittsburgh doesn’t take care of business tonight with a win, it won’t matter.