Power play of Penguins set for new look in Game 2 vs. Flyers
The power play was among the biggest culprits in the Penguins' Game 1 meltdown against the Flyers, and it will have a different look Friday night.
It might also be missing its biggest name.
In a rarity for a practice — the Penguins generally reserve special teams work for morning skates before games — coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday orchestrated a workout that emphasized the power play, and Sidney Crosby sat out portions of the top unit's time.
"We want to try and maybe use two units," defenseman Kris Letang said. "Two sets of players that can go out there and play one minute, get us going."
Bylsma has never endorsed the idea of separating Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the power play and revealed little about Friday night's plans.
"We went with a couple of different looks and people in different spots on our power play," Bylsma said. "We'll continue to look for that as we go forward."
One thing appears to be certain: Left wing Steve Sullivan will return to the point on the top power-play unit.
Many teammates believe Sullivan's presence was key to the power play's success this season. The Penguins scored on 19.7 percent of their power plays during the regular season, tied for fifth best in the league with, coincidentally, the Flyers.
The Penguins were 0 for 3 with the man advantage in Game 1. The Flyers were 1 for 1.
"He's played there all year," Crosby said of Sullivan. "He's shown that he's pretty comfortable there and can make plays. He's a smart player. He distributes the puck well. I think he brings all of that to the power play."
Judging by yesterday's practice, it appears Malkin, Letang and Sullivan are locks to play on the top unit Friday night. Crosby, right wing James Neal and left wing Chris Kunitz all took turns sitting out drills.
"We tried some different looks," Neal said.
Sullivan has excelled at helping the Penguins enter the attacking zone. He said the Penguins didn't have many problems entering the zone against the Flyers during the regular season, and he hopes that will be the case tonight.
"We know the power play needs to be better," Letang said.
Game 1 Penguins vs. Flyers 4⁄11/12
The Flyers defeat the Penguins, 4-3 in overtime, in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoff series.