By moving Trevor Lewis into the spot vacated by Jarret Stoll, and by moving Oscar Moller into what figures to be a limited fourth-line role, Terry Murray is changing his line combinations as little as possible for Game 2. That includes going back to the he started Game 1 with, with Michal Handzus centering Dustin Penner and Dustin Brown. During Game 1, Murray moved Alexei Ponikarovsky to that line and dropped Penner to the fourth line, a move that Murray said was motivated both by his satisfaction with Ponikarovsky and his dissatisfaction with Penner. Penner did not record a point in Game 1, meaning he has now gone 13 consecutive games without a point. Murray was asked what he might do in order to try to get Penner’s production going…
MURRAY: “It’s going to be the same message as in the past with him. It’s important that he just bring that hard work, that intensity and compete level to the game. There’s nothing more than that. He joined us late in the year. It’s now playoff time and it’s very difficult to make a whole lot of changes emotionally, mentally maybe. Again, I accept the fact that there are going to be some breakdowns in execution, just because of it being a new look for him, but I’ve got to see that compete. That’s the most important part of it. If you bring effort and compete, I think you’re going to see a pretty good game from him.”
Question: And you weren’t seeing that in Game 1?
MURRAY: “There were some shifts, after (the move). He came back and played pretty well, but it’s a 60-minute game. … It goes into the overtime. Those are the looks when you want your skilled players on the ice to be major contributors and maybe make a difference in the outcome of the game. It’s another day (in Game 2). Let’s put this one behind us and get himself ready to go.”