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Penguins make changes after humbling loss to San Jose |

Penguins make changes after humbling loss to San Jose

Jonathan Bombulie
Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist (72) and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) battle along the boards during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Tampa, Fla.

PHILADELPHIA – Putting aside the extracurricular activities associated with a Stadium Series game, the Pittsburgh Penguins had some work to do at Friday’s practice at Lincoln Financial Field.

They had to make some changes after a particularly uninspired 4-0 loss to San Jose on Thursday.

Most notably, coach Mike Sullivan made a few alterations to his line combinations. In an obvious attempt to get Patric Hornqvist jump-started, he was on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. Hornqvist hasn’t recorded a point in his last 14 games.

Also, after the Penguins gave up their league-leading 13th shorthanded goal of the season Thursday night, Sullivan split up his top power-play unit.

Hornqvist, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were with defensemen Justin Schultz and Marcus Pettersson. Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel and Nick Bjugstad skated with Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin.

“As a group, we have to be better on the power play,” Sullivan said. “We’ve gone a long time with the units that we have and we haven’t seen the necessary momentum to continue. Having said that, we know we have a group of five that we can put out there that are dynamic when they’re at the top of their game.

“We’ll make those decisions on a game-by-game basis. Today we practiced some different options. Whether we choose to go with those, that’s going to be a discussion the coaching staff will have almost daily.”

The Flyers made an interesting decision in goal, with veteran Brian Elliott getting the nod over Carter Hart. A promising rookie, Hart has been pulled from his last two starts.

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penguins
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