Sidney Crosby will have another new linemate tonight when the Penguins host the Capitals.
This time it’s Brandon Sutter, normally Pittsburgh’s third-line center, who will play on the right side with Crosby and Chris Kunitz. That job formerly belonged to Pascal Dupuis before he was lost for what’s likely to be the rest of the season.
Per NHL.com, Sutter will be the fifth right-winger to try out on the Pens’ top line in the last nine games.
“I think it’s obviously a new look,” Crosby said. “Given the situation, the circumstances here, we have a lot of guys playing different roles. We have to find a way. [Sutter] is a smart player and I’m sure he’ll find a way to adjust.”
Nick Drazenovic is expected to take Sutter’s 3C spot.
None of this will help quell the speculation that general manager Ray Shero will try to land a replacement for Dupuis before the March 5 deadline. If Sutter finds some chemistry on the top line, maybe Shero goes out and gets another third-line center (we mentioned Olli Jokinen’s name yesterday on PHT Extra, though that’s pure speculation with regards to the Pens), instead of a top-six winger.