Crosby, Malkin, and Neal will play on top PP unit


The Rangers might want to play a disciplined game on Thursday (7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN), because Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has constructed a pretty scary power-play unit.

Sidney Crosby is projected to play on the third line in his return, but he’ll also be skating on the top power-play unit with Evgeni Malkin. There are some people who might believe that the Penguins spreading out their talent with the man advantage would be beneficial, but Bylsma isn’t one of them.

“I think we’ve always felt,” Bylsma said, “and do feel and strongly feel — all of us — that having the two best players (on the ice) is the best thing for us to have success.”

James Neal, who has been one of this season’s biggest breakout players, and Chris Kunitz are also projected to be on the ice with Malkin and Crosby. In the likely event that Kris Letang returns, he’ll probably be on the top unit instead of Steve Sullivan. On paper, it looks like arguably the best power-play unit in the NHL.

Crosby is projected to be playing the point on the power play while Kunitz will try and put himself in front of the net. Neal and Malkin will be in position to fire off one-timers.