Jan 25, 2013; Winnipeg, MB, CAN; Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal (18) during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins make changes on power play

Things have not gone well for the Pittsburgh Penguins as of late and as usual, the power play is quickly becoming a sore spot among Penguins fans.

That has prompted changes only six games into the season.

January 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) on the ice before playing the New York Islanders at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Currently the Penguins power play ranks 11th in the NHL, clicking at a 22.7 percent clip, but the unit hasn’t scored a goal with the man advantage in their past 13 tries, after scoring five times in their first 13 chances.

The problem isn’t the personnel, but the scheme and beginning Thursday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers, expect the Penguins’ power play to be kept simple, along with some changes.

The experiment with James Neal on the point looks like it has ended as Neal was shifted down low where he led the NHL with 18 power play goals a season ago.

In addition, Evgeni Malkin, who scored the Pens last power play goal in the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs four games ago, has moved up to the point.

The move should help Neal, who was very effective playing down low with the man advantage a season ago.

There were some changes in the lines during the morning skate as well.

The lines looked as follows:

Eric Tangradi-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis

Dustin Jeffrey-Malkin-Neal

Matt Cooke-Brandon Sutter-Tyler Kennedy

Tanner Glass-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams

However I wouldn’t read too much into Tangradi playing on Crosby’s line. Crosby’s regular line mate Chris Kunitz was not on the ice this morning due to being sick, although he will try and play against the Rangers.

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Tags: Evgeni Malkin James Neal Pittsburgh Penguins

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