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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Penguins stick with same lineup for Game 1

Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 12:12 PM

By Chris Adamski - NHL.com Correspondent / Penguins-Bruins series blog

PITTSBURGH -- If it isn't broken, coach Dan Bylsma and the Pittsburgh Penguins see no reason to fix it.

Over the past week as the team practiced for the beginning of the Eastern Conference Final, several players said the Penguins peaked at the end of their series victory against the Ottawa Senators. Through five practices and a morning skate in advance of Game 1 against the Boston Bruins on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), Pittsburgh kept its line combinations and defense pairings stable.

Perhaps not surprisingly, they appear identical to what Bylsma utilized in Pittsburgh's 6-2 victory in Game 5 against Ottawa, the most recent game the Penguins have played. Other than veteran forward Brenden Morrow subbing in for rookie Beau Bennett after Game 4 of that series, Pittsburgh largely has kept its lineup and line combinations the same after a period of flux earlier in the postseason.

Against the best faceoff team in the NHL, forward Jussi Jokinen likely will be counted on to win critical draws. Another player who was a healthy scratch when the playoffs began, wing Tyler Kennedy has earned a regular spot back in his customary third-line role. Bennett, Tanner Glass and Joe Vitale appear to be the odd forwards out.

Veteran defenseman Mark Eaton was scratched for four consecutive games earlier in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but has re-established himself as a stalwart in the lineup. Deryk Engelland and rookie Simon Despres are other future options.

Here are the Penguins' projected lines for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final:

Chris KunitzSidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis

Jarome Iginla - Evgeni MalkinJames Neal

Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy

Brenden Morrow - Jussi Jokinen - Craig Adams

Mark Eaton - Kris Letang

Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin

Douglas MurrayMatt Niskanen

Tomas Vokoun

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Beau Bennett, Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres, Deryk Engelland, Tanner Glass, Eric Hartzell, Dustin Jeffrey, Joe Vitale

Injured: None

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the OT winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round