OTTAWA — The Pittsburgh Penguins’ defense is going to look different for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Defenseman Justin Schultz, who suffered an upper-body injury in Game 2, didn’t practice with the team during the Penguins’ morning skate. Schultz and forwards Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust all skated before practice, but Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan ruled them all out for Game 3.
Trevor Daley and Mark Streit returned to the lineup Wednesday as the Penguins went with seven defensemen.
Left wing Viktor Stalberg was back for Ottawa after missing the first two games of the series with a lower-body injury.
Streit hasn’t played in the postseason this year but has 784 career NHL regular-season games under his belt. Captain Sidney Crosby said that experience would be key.
“That goes a long way when you’re thrown in different situations,” Crosby said. “He’s played a lot of games, especially in the playoffs here when the stakes are higher. You want someone who is comfortable.”
Daley’s return should give a boost to the Penguins’ transition game. Players say they’ve missed his strong skating ability and his effectiveness in getting the puck out of the Penguins’ zone, especially with Kris Letang out.
“Not many guys can skate like him,” Crosby said. “That’s a big part of his game — getting out of our zone, skating us out of trouble. Offensively, he’s able to move around in the offensive zone.”
Daley last played on May 6, during Game 5 of Round 2 against the Washington Capitals.