There’s reason to believe the Pittsburgh Penguins may go with seven defensemen in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final tonight at Ottawa.
Justin Schultz will not be one of those seven, after getting hurt in Game 2.
But Trevor Daley was a possibility to return for Game 3, and at this morning’s skate he was paired with Olli Maatta. The other two pairs were Brian Dumoulin with Ron Hainsey and Chad Ruhwedel with Ian Cole.
Mark Streit, meanwhile, worked on the Penguins’ top power play, which is now minus Schultz. Streit has yet to make an appearance in these playoffs, but head coach Mike Sullivan hinted yesterday that that could change tonight.
“He’s a really savvy player,” Sullivan said. “I think he could help us on our power play. He could help us get out of our end zone. I think he’s got great puck skills.”
Read more: Penguins defense holding together, somehow
To make room for a seventh d-man, the Penguins wouldn’t have to scratch a forward. They simply wouldn’t insert a winger for Bryan Rust, who was also hurt in Game 2. Rust did not take line rushes this morning.
If the Penguins go with six defensemen, expect to see Tom Kuhnhackl enter the lineup.