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Penguins vs. Islanders

Penguins without Neal, Orpik in Game 2

Friday, 05.03.2013 / 7:20 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / Penguins-Islanders series blog

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Penguins without Neal, Orpik in Game 2

PITTSBURGH -- Forward James Neal and defenseman Brooks Orpik are not in the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center.

Neal was injured early in the second period of Game 1 on Wednesday. He appeared to injure his ankle after a heavy hit by defenseman Travis Hamonic along the side wall during a Pittsburgh power play. Orpik hasn't played since suffering a lower-body injury April 23. He skated with the team during each of its past two practice sessions.

But with Sidney Crosby back in the lineup -- he announced his return after the morning skate Friday -- there would be at least minor changes. Beau Bennett, who scored in Game 1 and had a very strong all-round game, remained in the lineup to spell Neal. Bennett played in Neal's spot regularly for the second half of Game 1.

Jussi Jokinen, who was taking over many of Crosby's duties during his absence, will slide down into the role as the fourth-line center.

Also, judging from the morning skate Friday, it appeared Crosby would inherit first-unit power-play duties. The unit had Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin on the wings with Crosby in the middle. Forward Jarome Iginla played one point and Kris Letang had the other. The second unit had Bennett, Brenden Morrow and Jokinen as forwards, with Paul Martin and Matt Niskanen as the defensemen.

Here is how the Penguins could line up for Game 2 Friday night:

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis

Beau Bennett - Evgeni Malkin - Jarome Iginla

Brenden Morrow - Brandon Sutter - Matt Cooke

Tanner Glass - Jussi Jokinen - Craig Adams

Paul Martin - Deryk Engelland

Douglas Murray - Matt Niskanen

Mark Eaton - Kris Letang

Marc-Andre Fleury

Tomas Vokoun

Quote of the Day

I was surprised. I knew I got it. It's tough. You never know how hard it is until it registers on the gun. I got pretty much all I could into and you just hope for the best.

— Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber after winning the AMP NHL Hardest Shot event at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition