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At the Rink blog

Kobasew moves up to Penguins' second line

Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Kobasew moves up to Penguins' second line

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins' line combinations again will go through another set of changes due to an injury to a top-six forward.

Beau Bennett (lower-body injury) will sit out Pittsburgh's game Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers at Consol Energy Center. With James Neal on injured reserve, Chuck Kobasew will be the latest Penguins forward to get an opportunity to play alongside Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen.

Kobasew was effective on Pittsburgh's third line and Jokinen said he expects Kobasew to fit in well next to him and Malkin.

"I think it's still pretty normal," Jokinen said. "How it is in the NHL, there are so many injuries and the coaches like to mix up the lines, so I think everybody's used to it, that there are going to be different line combinations.

"Especially now with Chuck Kobasew playing with us, he's a really good two-way player who is a hard-nosed player that goes to the net and does all of those little things and can score goals and can make plays too."

Harry Zolnierczyk was recalled from the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, on Tuesday to replace Neal on the roster. Zolnierczyk will play on Pittsburgh's third line, alongside Brandon Sutter and Dustin Jeffrey.

"You obviously start working on your game and improve in areas," Zolnierczyk said. "Offense is part of my game and that's something I wanted to show down there [AHL] and it paid off."

Zolnierczyk is tied for the team lead for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with three goals in three AHL games.

"He's scored three goals, but three of them had been him going to the net and creating his own space," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "He's been an effective player for them and has played on a top-two line with that kind of speed and ability. He hasn't necessarily just been running people through the wall."

The moves leave two of Pittsburgh's lines intact, including its surprisingly successful fourth line of Tanner Glass, Joe Vitale and Craig Adams. Adams and Glass have combined for four goals through five games.

The Oilers held an optional morning skate Tuesday after their 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday. Forward Nail Yakupov will miss his third straight game as a healthy scratch.

Yakupov, who does not have a point in four games, last played in Edmonton's 4-1 loss against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 10.

Here are the lineups the Penguins and Oilers likely will use Tuesday:

OILERS

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Smyth - Mark Arcobello - Jordan Eberle

David Perron - Boyd Gordon - Jesse Joensuu

Luke Gazdic - Will Acton - Mike Brown

Nick Schultz - Andrew Ference

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry

Justin Schultz - Anton Belov

Devan Dubnyk

Jason LaBarbera

Scratched: Nail Yakupov

Injured: Denis Grebeshkov (groin), Steve MacIntyre (knee), Ryan Hamilton (knee), Corey Potter (back), Sam Gagner (jaw)

PENGUINS

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis

Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - Chuck Kobasew

Dustin Jeffrey - Brandon Sutter - Harry Zolnierczyk

Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin

Rob Scuderi - Matt Niskanen

Olli Maatta - Robert Bortuzzo

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Deryk Engelland

Injured: Matt D'Agostini (lower body), James Neal (upper body), Kris Letang (knee), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis), Beau Bennett (lower body)

Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic