The St. John's IceCaps will have two changes to their lineup when they take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Game 3 of their American Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal tonight in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Forward Maxime Macenauer and defenceman Zach Redmond will dress tonight, taking the places of veteran forward Marco Rosa and rearguard Jason DeSantis.
Neither Macenauer or Redmond played in the first two games of the best-of-seven series, which saw the IceCaps and Pens each come away with 3-1 wins at Mile One Centre in St. John's. But both did dress for one game in St. John's opening-round series with the Syracuse Crunch.
Redmond played in the AHL All-Star game in January as a rookie, but was squeezed into the pressbox by late-season returns from injury by Paul Postma and Derek Meech.
DeSantis has had difficulty matching his breakout regular-season performance in the playoffs — he has three assists and a minus-two rating in six post-season games. However, the thinking here was that DeSantis — who played for Wilkes-Barre last season but had a tough time breaking into the Penguins' lineup — might be a player with extra motivation during the next three games of the series, tonight, Sunday and Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre. However, with Keith McCambridge's team coming off a loss in Game 2 Wednesday and after his having stressed the need to get more offence from the back-end, the move to Redmond can't be seen as a shocker.
Neither can the decision to replace Rosa with Macenaueur, especially after McCambridge stated he wanted more physical play from his forwards against the large-size Penguins' defenceman.
Rosa is a centre who has played on the left wing on a line with teen Mark Scheifele and rookie Carl Klingberg. He was St. John's leading scorer when he was sidelined by a concussion around Christmas, but after a long rehabilitation mostly devoid of any workouts, the eight games Rosa has played since his return really were sort of a springtime training camp for the veteran as he tries to find his way back to the level he was at before the injury.
Macenaueur, who began the 2011-12 season with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, is known as a good two-way forward. The six-foot-two, 203-pounder was acquired in a mid-season trade between the Ducks and Winnipeg Jets.
Game time tonight is 8:35 NT, with Brian Rogers' pre-game show on 930AM CJYQ and associated online sites beginnning approximately a half-hour earlier ...The Penguins are expected to use the same lineup that got them the split at Mile One ... Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, Jets assistant GM Craig Heisinger and IceCaps president Danny Williams will be in attendance tonight, as will be AHL president Dave Andrews ... Defenceman Will O'Neill is not in Wilkes-Barre, but in Orono, Me., for his graduation from the University of Maine