Middletown, N. J. – Sidney Crosby will make his return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup this evening as the announcement was just made during the teams morning skate prior to game two of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders.
After the Pens 5-0 thrashing in game one, this makes the task that much tougher for New York, who must take every advantage to try and pester the Pens superstar into frustration, as they have had success with that strategy in the past.
It also minimizes the suspected absence of Neal and just highlights how deep this team is at the forward position.
For the Isles, head coach Jack Capuano refused to go into specifics after game one, but the thinking here is that there will some lineup changes for game two. After the morning skate for New York, we will have an editors revision here posting what that lineup will look like.
*EDITORS NOTE – On the ice for Isles per Arthur Staple….. 51, 12, 41, 6, 13, 36, 16; 37, 7, 4, 52, 14. All 3 goalies as well.
*EDITORS UPDATE 2 – Based on post skate, Staple suggesting Carkner for Hickey and Ullstrom for Reasoner.
The safe assumption is that Marty Reasoner will be out of the lineup with Jesse Joensuu returning to play wing alongside Matt Martin with Casey Cizikas in the middle. Another lineup change could see Radek Martinek buy back into the lineup, as his experience and speed could be welcome on the Isles backline. Brian Strait would be the only likely scratch if that change were to occur.
Everyone knows that Evgeni Nabokov will once again be the man behind the mask for the Islanders and with the time off before the series and getting pulled early in game one, he should be plenty rested by this point.
EOI Keys To Game Two
- Isles must stay out of the penalty box
- Smarter forecheck. One deep, second high in offensive zone, 3 in neutral zone. Have to slow down the Pens breakout.
- Second chances. Have to force Fleury, who looked a little shaky in game one, to make multiple saves.
- Quiet the crowd. Early goal or fight could do that effectively.
Keep it tuned into EyesOnIsles for the pre-game report from Mike Willhoft followed immediately after game two with our post-game wrap-up from Rich Diaz, Dump and Chase.