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Vitale, Kennedy to draw in for Pens; Martinek likely for Isles

May 9, 2013, 12:44 PM EDT


Looks as though the lineups for tonight’s tilt between the Pens and Isles are coming into shape.

Joe Vitale and Tyler Kennedy appear likely to suit up for the Penguins, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Neither Vitale nor Kennedy has played this series — instead, head coach Dan Bylsma has used the likes of Tanner Glass, Jussi Jokinen and Beau Bennett, all three of whom look to be healthy scratches for Game 5.

“I’m excited to get back out there,” Vitale told the Post-Gazette. “I [hope to bring] a lot of speed, a lot of tenacity, a lot of grit around the net.”

As for the Isles, they’re primed to give Radek Martinek his postseason debut.

New York had a problem to solve on its blueline after Andrew MacDonald — who was averaging over 23 minutes per contest — suffered a broken hand in Game 4, knocking him out of the playoffs.

It appears Martinek will be the solution. For now.

The 36-year-old Czech hasn’t appeared in the playoffs since 2004, but did play in 13 games for the Isles this season, scoring three goals while averaging over 16 minutes per game.

  1. pitpenguinsrulez - May 9, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I really hope these two especially pig nose make a difference for the Pens. The 4th line has been non existent since game one and that also applies to Brenden Morrow as well. It’s like what happened to the Morrow that was all over Tavares or the one who owned Subban!?

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 9, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      It looks like Bylsma’s looking for speed – Vitale and TK have that. I’d still rather see Glass in for Adams – Adams had the worst game I’ve ever seen him play last time.

  2. barkar942 - May 9, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Go Islanders! (From a Ranger Fan).

  3. sjsharks66 - May 9, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Finally they put in Vitale. I don’t know why he does not have a spot on the team.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 9, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      Honestly dude why don’t you call yourself pittpenguins66 ?

  4. Stiller43 - May 9, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    TK? Awe christ. Also, why no juicy?! If nothing else, they use him on a ton of faceoffs.

  5. steelers88 - May 9, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Vitale is good in face-offs as well. Don’t understand TK. They should have put Beau Bennet in.

    • jpelle82 - May 9, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      pens dont need help scoring goals so bennett stays out with neal in, they need fresh legs to wear down the islanders on the forecheck. they’ve had very little sustained pressure in the islanders zone the last 2 games. this move is bylsma flexing his depth muscles a bit, he’s hoping to get more energy out of his energy line at home and bolster the matchup game. he’s gotta find a way to cancel out the okposo line. jokinen and glass havent been skating or hitting hard. sutter morrow cooke hasnt been either and notice they havent been matched up against the tavares line lately because of it.

  6. jpelle82 - May 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    hopefully tk shuts us all up and has a good game. as far as vitale goes, he better win some faceoffs to go along with some of the energy he brings out there. i worry about stupid penalties from these two guys…glass, adams, jokinen have combined for 1 minor penalty thus far in 4 games…tk is usually good for 1 per game by himself

    • pens5829 - May 9, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      You mean like the ones Malkin takes each game? Hoping Bylsma sat his ass down and told him to stop that sh*t? Also hope the refs stop with BS ticky-tack calls in favor of the Islanders.

      • jpelle82 - May 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        yeah exactly, he got lucky the islanders dude flopped because there was no excuse for that grab in game 4…followed up by the game losing turnover

  7. rushledger - May 9, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Right calls on vitale and Kennedy, not so sure about Jokinen. I would have scratched tanner glass and either kept jussi in or added Jeffery.

  8. letsgopens8771 - May 9, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Good call. Jokinen I am not sure of (faceoffs), Glass kills penalties, and we need that. Bennett I agree with as well. Whatever the cost may be, I just want to see the Pens play some actual defense.

    As for the series… Seriously, Islanders, you need to just lay down and die already because face it, most people love the Pens and no one in the NHL front office wants to see you past round 1, much less anyone else. “Pens cruise by Islanders in 6″ has a better ring to it than “Islanders advance to round 2.” Islanders=inferior team that no one likes that is getting lucky. You guys are really making me and my boys fuming mad. The saddest part is that Bylsma is making Jack Capuano look like a genius because he sucks as a head coach in the Playoffs.

    • phillyphanatic77 - May 9, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      What a delusional post. “Most people love the Pens”? Really? You mean like people that live in Pittsburgh? In case you didn’t notice, atleast half the league is hoping for a Pens flop. The entire Eastern conference wants the Isles to advance. People root for the underdog, not the heavy favorites. Outside of western Pa the Pens are not universally loved.

      “Islanders= inferior team that no one likes that is getting lucky”- this statement couldn’t be farther from reality. I know there are knowledgeable Pens fans on here, but letsgopens is living in a fantasy world. If you really believe that then you should be embarrassed because your all-star roster has been outhustled, outworked, and outplayed. Having a great team on paper guarantees nothing. Learn to respect for your opponent, bc that “inferior” team has a shot to end

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        *end the Pens season.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 9, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        I disagree on one of your points ! You say half the league is hoping for a pens flop more like the rest of the league !

  9. jonkchar - May 9, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Tyler Kennedy has been playing all his life for series like this

    • letsgopens8771 - May 9, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      Exactly. I know TK has had a really bad regular season, but it’s people like him who win you cups, as shown in ’09 (I know Talbot scored the 2 goals, but TK was a driving force in the series as well.) I miss those days when the Pens were defense first.

  10. laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Kennedy has always seemed to play well against Philly……

    Kind of suprised he was on the bench……

    Why??…just don’t know that much about him

    • jpelle82 - May 9, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      penalties, turnovers, and flat out poor effort have plagued him this year. he had 5 goals maybe, i havent checked his numbers but i cant remember any more than that and i’ve watched every game. maybe this rest will inspire him. he needs to stop trying to take the whole team on with his stupid one move that he tries and fails every time with…and try to hit the goal with his shots.

      • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        thanks pelle good luck tonight

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