Scenes from skate: Canucks could see lineup changes due to injury as they battle the Penguins
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber10 months ago
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The Vancouver Canucks are officially out east as they continue on one of their more difficult road trips of the season.
Tuesday’s game is the second of a five-game road trip that will continue to challenge the Canucks. The trip didn’t get off to a great start, with the team taking a big 7-4 loss on Sunday afternoon in Winnipeg.
I guess we should mention the team they are playing… The Canucks are in Pittsburgh and will battle with the Penguins at 4 pm PT.
The Penguins are 20-13-6 on the season, and 10-4-4 on home ice. They have a top-three penalty kill in the league this season and just snapped a six-game losing streak with a commanding 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.
Leading the way for the Penguins this season has been Sidney Crosby, who has turned the clock back to the Sid the Kid era — he has 20 goals and 27 assists through 39 games this season.
Crosby will be flanked by Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust on the top line and the Penguins have that strong one-two punch with a second line that features Jason Zucker, Evgeni Malkin and Rickard Rakell.
An interesting name to watch is defenceman Ty Smith, who was involved in the John Marino trade this past July.
Smith is 22 years old and has only played in four games this season. He will be relied upon to play top-four minutes on Tuesday night and it’ll be interesting to see the young defender tested against some of the Canucks’ top-nine lines.
Here’s who has been good for the Penguins over the past 15 games:
Crosby has eight goals and seven assists. Bryan Rust has four goals and 10 assists, Evgeni Malkin has four goals and 10 assists, and Jake Guentzel has five goals and nine assists.
Basically, if you can limit Crosby, Malkin, Rust and Guentzel — you’ll be alright.
Let’s dive into what we saw.
What we saw
The lines looked similar to what we saw in Winnipeg.
Per Patrick Johnston of Postmedia, Collin Delia was the only goalie on the ice for the morning skate, so that leads us to believe that Spencer Martin will be their starter.
It was a sight for sore eyes seeing Thatcher Demko back on the ice and taking shots. He is still a ways away from being back to game form, but this is a step in the right direction.
What was said
“There’s some pretty good players on the other team and [it’s] mostly fun games against them,” said Elias Pettersson when asked about playing the Penguins. Pettersson is likely to be given some sort of matchup duties with Andrei Kuzmenko and JT Miller on his wings.
One day after his 68th birthday, head coach Bruce Boudreau talked about potential lineup changes.
“I don’t know yet,” said Boudreau. “We’ll have to see tonight because there are a couple of guys that are hurt a little bit. So we’ll see if there are any changes.”
Boudreau also said that there is no chance that Demko plays on this trip but mentioned that anytime Demko is on the ice and taking shots, he is getting closer to returning to the lineup.
The game is scheduled for 4 PM Pacific Time at the PPG Paints Arena.
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