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Mark Madden

BOTTOM-SIX BLUES

 
BOTTOM-SIX BLUES

Last night’s 6-5 home shootout loss to Montreal provided a microcosm of the Penguins’ bottom-six blues. The third and fourth lines hurt more than they help.
 
The Penguins got zero even-strength goals from their bottom six, though third-line center Brandon Sutter did net an exquisite short-handed goal.
 
The Canadiens scored once against the Penguins’ third line after Sutter made a bad turnover. The Canadiens scored once against the Penguins’ fourth line. The Canadiens scored on the power play with a fourth-liner (Joe Vitale) in the penalty box. The Canadiens scored on the power-play with a third-liner (Tanner Glass) in the penalty box.
 
The third and fourth lines were directly responsible for the Penguins’ loss. At the very least, you count on those lines to not be scored upon. That clearly wasn’t the case last night.
 
The members of the third and fourth lines had just four shots between them. Those units are totally non-threatening. That makes the Penguins very easy to check.
 
Where do the Penguins most need help as Wednesday’s trade deadline looms? The answer seems obvious.
 
Brian Gibbons doesn’t belong on Sidney Crosby’s right wing. But he drew three penalties last night. He contributed. The Penguins’ third and fourth lines don’t.


Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

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