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Pens Gameday 1/4/17: Penguins Lines, Dumoulin & Rowney Injury News

By Michael Miller (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Carter Rowney and Brian Dumoulin did not take part in the Penguins morning skate, Thursday. Head coach Mike Sullivan says Rowney is out at least four weeks and Dumoulin suffered a concussion, Tuesday.

Dominik Simon, fresh from his 24-hour demotion and healthy scratch against Philadelphia Tuesday, is back in the lineup and playing on Sidney Crosby’s left wing. Conor Sheary, who has been playing predominantly left wing throughout the Penguins lineup, shifted to Crosby’s right side.

Simon–Crosby–Sheary

Hornqvist–Malkin–Kessel

Hagelin–Guentzel–Sprong

Kuhnhackl–Sheahan–Reaves

Hunwick-Letang

Maatta-Oleksiak

Cole-Schultz

Murray

Patric Hornqvist moved to the left side of the Evgeni Malkin line, and Jake Guentzel is skating as the Penguins third line center. As Pittsburgh Hockey Now was the first to report last night, prospect Adam Johnson will be recalled. However, Johnson may not make the trip to Pittsburgh as some in Wilkes Barre believe the move was only an on-paper transaction in case of emergency.

Tristan Jarry was on the ice this morning, which means Casey DeSmith will not be recalled, and Sebastien Caron’s career as a local backup is over, again.

Analysis

The newfound Penguins “fourth” line is cause for excitement. It was perhaps Sheahan’s best game as a Penguin and maybe Reaves’, too.

By the way–if you haven’t heard the news, Shelly Anderson will be writing it with Pittsburgh Hockey Now, starting today.

Guentzel at center is undoubtedly an emergency move. The Penguins coaches were not enthusiastic about such a move in the offseason. However, Guentzel has not been producing offensively or creating. The expectation would be the third and fourth line to get equal time or Sheahan’s “fourth” line to get more ice.

Adam Johnson would have been an intriguing player to insert into the lineup. He will be a Penguin eventually, and he got a good look in the preseason. He is another high hockey-IQ type player, and he served Daniel Sprong very well in WBS. Head coach Clark Donatelli paired Johnson with Sprong, and Johnson was able to create scoring chances for Sprong…who didn’t miss.

Hunwick on Letang’s left side could be interesting. Hunwick possesses the physical skills and the veteran presence to hold down that fort. Perhaps that will be the spark for Hunwick, too. The coaches want to keep Cole-Schultz together. That pairing makes both players better.

An interesting note to chew on:  The Penguins only have 12 forwards on the roster and have not yet announced the Johnson call up.

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