Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/18/13
It was time for a change. The Penguins, who have registered one goal in four of their past five games, have made significant alterations to their top three lines in preparation for Monday's home game against the Anaheim Ducks. Right wing Beau Bennett will skate on the top line with center Sidney Crosby and left wing Chris Kunitz. Crosby has skated almost exclusively with Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis during the past three seasons. “We've had two lines here through the last couple of years that have been one of the best lines in the game at different times,” said coach Dan Bylsma, acknowledging that tinkering with lines can create positive and negative results. “But sometimes a particular matchup is a fact. And (so is) where we're at.” Dupuis will slide down to left wing on the second line, where he'll skate with center Evgeni Malkin and right wing James Neal. Malkin and Neal enjoyed great success two years ago while Kunitz played on their left wing (Crosby was out of the lineup during that stretch), and the Penguins hope Dupuis' speed and tenacity can provide a similar effect. “He's going to generate a forecheck for them,” Crosby said. “He's going to push guys back, go to the net.” While Crosby has long enjoyed having Dupuis on his right wing, he welcomes the idea of playing with Bennett, a former first round draft pick. Crosby has long had a penchant for playing with right-handed wingers, from Bill Guerin to Colby Armstrong. However, most of his regular wingers – Kunitz, Dupuis, Marian Hossa and Miroslav Satan – have been left-handed. “He's got a lot of skill,” Crosby said of Bennett. “He's pretty patient with the puck, he's a right-handed shot.” Bennett is remaining low-key about the possibility of earning a regular role in the top-six. He has been used primarily on the third line this season. “It's exciting,” he said. “But first and foremost, I've got to play the right way. You don't want to change much. You don't want to always defer. Just play your game, play smart, play hard, and the rest will take care of itself.”
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