Feb 29, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Eric Tangradi (25) chases the puck in front of Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Penguins defeated the Stars 4-3 in the overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins shuffle line combinations, Tangradi dropped to 4th line

It is only three games into the season and Pittsburgh Penguins’ head coach Dan Bylsma is changing things in regards to the line combinations, most notably ending the experiment of Eric Tangradi on the second line.

After Tangradi has failed to record a point in the Penguins first three games, Bylsma has dropped Tangradi to the fourth line where he will play with Craig Adams and either Joe Vitale or Dustin Jeffrey.

January 16, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Eric Tangradi (25) warms up before the Penguins intrasquad scrimmage at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tangradi’s demotion means that Tyler Kennedy will take his place on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.

In addition, Tanner Glass will move up to take Kennedy’s place on the third line with Matt Cooke and Brandon Sutter.

Glass could also see some time on the second line as Bylsma said he would not hesitate to use him in that role. Bylsma also wasn’t very happy with Tangradi’s costly turnover that led to a Toronto goal on Wednesday as he quickly removed him from Malkin’s line and never returned him there.

This could be a pivotal couple of games for Tangradi’s future with the big club. It was quite possible that he was getting six or seven game look to begin with, so he needs to show something and do so rather quickly.

Bylsma has options, one of which could be playing Vitale and Jeffrey together if need be.

The popular choice would be to call up Beau Bennett, but it isn’t certain that he is ready. Whether he is or not, one thing is for sure and that is that Bylsma won’t hesitate to make changes until he finds the right four combinations that work.

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Tags: Dan Bylsma Eric Tangradi Pittsburgh Penguins Tanner Glass Tyler Kennedy

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