Penguins notebook: Vitale a no-go
Center Joe Vitale did not play in Game 3 at Ottawa on Sunday. Coach Dan Bylsma said before the contest that Vitale was not available but declined to elaborate.
The Penguins' policy, enacted for the playoffs, is not to address injuries or lineups. Vitale had appeared in four consecutive games, all Penguins' victories.
“His speed was evident,” Bylsma said of Vitale's impact, made mostly from the fourth line when he played. “He was a difference-maker.”
Vitale played in only four games in April leading up to the playoffs because of a lower-body injury.
Glass, Eaton in
With Vitale out, winger Tanner Glass worked the left wing on a line centered by Craig Adams. Tyler Kennedy served as the right winger.
Glass had not played since May 7, or Game 4 of Round 1 against the New York Islanders.
Defenseman Mark Eaton also played after missing the past four games. He was paired with defenseman Douglas Murray.
Eaton replaced Deryk Engelland, who played in Games 1 and 2 against Ottawa.
Aside from Glass and Eaton, there were no other changes for the Penguins.
Forward Jussi Jokinen missed a fifth consecutive game, and it is not clear if he is healthy.
Jokinen was jarred by a leg-on-leg hit from the Islanders' Marty Reasnor in Game 1 of the opening round, though he played in Games 2-4. He has not played since, even though the Bylsma is fond of his versatility — Jokinen can play at either wing or center — and his penchant for winning faceoffs.
The Penguins' plan for this series was to test Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson's left side with angle shots. They stuck to it early in Game 3, with seven of their first 18 credited shots coming from the angle on Anderson's left.
Murray briefly left the second period of Game 3 after he and Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson were each called for penalties. Winger Jarome Iginla served Murray's holding penalty. Murray returned to finish the period.