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So it begins

April 11, 2018, 4:02 PM ET [180 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
We've been talking about it since last July. It's time to see if they can do it. Pittsburgh kicks off its second consecutive season as the Stanley Cup champs and it just so happens to be a certain amount of days

I haven't talked much about the Penguins lineup the past few days so I guess that is where I'll start. Unfortunately, we are in the playoffs and won't be getting much information from the head coach anymore. This is problematic when there is an optional skate and a lot of players take the option to stay at home.

Yep, it's that time of year again. Good luck getting any information. Here's what my best guess is for the lineup this evening

Kuhnhackl-Sheahan-Aston Reese

Derick Brassard returned to practice the other day. He did not skate today. I do believe you will see him tonight for the first time since March 27th. He was hurt only a game after a six game point streak. The feeling out process was definitely over. His return whether it is tonight or Game 2 is huge for the Penguins depth and ability to wear teams down with three great scoring lines and a fourth line that will have the very competent Riley Sheahan.

It's been a while since Kris Letang has played in a playoff game. It will be nice to see him back out there.

The defense looked like this the other day


The deeper we are into the careers of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin the more players they are going to start passing on the all-time playoff scoring list

The Stanley Cup isn't the only three-peat still alive and well. Could Sidney Crosby become the first ever player to win a third consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy? Three is the most any player has won and that was achieved by Patrick Roy. Mario Lemieux and Bernie Parent are the only other two players to win back to back Conn Smyth Trophies. Rare air for Sid.

As for the opponent here is their potential forward lineup courtesy of Daily Faceoff

Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier had wonderful seasons. It will be interesting to see how Mike Sullivan wants to approach defending that line. Voracek is no slouch on the second line and he certainly provides Nolan Patrick some needed support. However, Patrick is going to face a legit force in his first ever playoffs regardless of how the Penguins allocate their matchups. That is the beauty of separating Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel.

Here we go.

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