NHL: Penguins to provide new look in Game 2
DETROIT ó The victorious Red Wings just want to tighten things up. The suddenly deflated Penguins are looking to shake it up.
As much as the hockey world looked forward to finally getting Detroit and Pittsburgh on the ice to start the Stanley Cup finals, Game 2 could be even more intriguing.
“We came out the way we should have and then we backed off a little bit,” Penguins defenseman Hal Gill said. “They played a level higher than we did. We can be effective against them if we play the way we’re supposed to.”
That chance will come Monday night back in Hockeytown. The 4-0 Game 1 loss has Pittsburgh trailing in a series for the first time this year and needing to figure out how to avoid heading home 0-2.
Penguins coach Michel Therrien took a proactive approach and switched up his lines for practice Sunday. He preached effort, cohesiveness and attention to details.
Pascal Dupuis was dropped from captain Sidney Crosby’s line and was replaced by Ryan Malone. Dupuis instead will skate with Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy.
“It’s probably just a little different with Dups,” Crosby said. “He probably brings a little more speed, opens things up a little bit. With Bugsy, he’s a bigger guy, probably a bigger presence in front of the net, in the corners.”
That could suggest the Penguins will look to chip the puck into the offensive zone past the Red Wings’ solid defense corps led by Nicklas Lidstrom. Both teams thrive on maintaining possession of the puck for long stretches, yet Detroit was more effective in the opener.
The Red Wings struggled in the first period, mostly because they spent more than 6 minutes short-handed after being called for four penalties. Once they stayed out of the box, they turned a 0-0 game into a rout over the final 40 minutes, holding the Penguins to seven shots and one power-play chance.
“They’ll gain some experience from the game, so will we,” said Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood, who made 12 of his 19 saves in the first period. “We didn’t play great in the first. They had a real solid first period, and then we possessed the puck very good for the last two periods.”
In addition to changing lines, Therrien is turning back to 42-year-old gritty forward Gary Roberts, who was miffed about being benched for the opener. Roberts has been in and out of the lineup because of various injuries and illness.
Therrien was reluctant to alter a winning lineup that had lost only twice in the Eastern Conference portion of the playoffs. He sought to reward those who got the Penguins there, but now feels the need to add a jolt.
“This is only one game,” he said. “We would like to have had a better result. I didn’t think we played a good game, and the Red Wings played really well. In time I believe we could play a lot better.
“We’ve proven in the past after a fair performance we always bounce back. This is what I’m expecting from that team, and we addressed it with the players before practice. It was important to make sure we got the right attitude. I thought our guys were sharp.”