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Even Sullivan Searching for Answers, for Someone ‘to Make a Difference’ (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins: Mike Sullivan, Mike Vellucci, Jeff Carter, Kasperi Kapanen, Brock McGinn

TEMPE, Ariz. — The lines have changed. All four Pittsburgh Penguins lines have undergone tweaks and shuffles in January. Some changes have been necessary as Ryan Poehling and Josh Archibald suffered injuries, and others have been trying to find the spark to slam the brakes on another protracted winless streak.

Those are the details. The bigger picture, problem, or situation — pick your descriptor — with the Penguins is not the tweaks, but that coach Mike Sullivan has been forced to continue the shuffles and the chase for solutions.

No one has yet provided them.

The team has melted against the opponents’ pushes.

Thursday in Las Vegas, Kasperi Kapanen received more ice time than he has in two months. Recent call-up Ty Smith became the de facto No. 1 defenseman while playing on his off-side with Brian Dumoulin. The Penguins were never in the game despite outplaying Vegas for two periods and lost to the Golden Knights, 5-2.,

These are not normal times for the Penguins.

Saturday, Sullivan seemed to make a few loud, though indirect admissions.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.