One line does not a hockey team make.
On Friday night, the Lethbridge Hurricanes shut down the Calgary's Hitmen's top trio of Ryan Getzlaf, Andrew Ladd and Shaun Landolt and the 'Canes emerged with a 2-1 victory in Game 1 of the WHL Eastern Conference quarter-final matchup.
In Game 2 Saturday, Getzlaf, Ladd and Landolt all bulged the twine and, not coincidentally, Calgary got out of Lethbridge with a series split after winning 3-2.
That said, Hitmen GM and co-coach Kelly Kisio knows his club is, at some point, going to need some timely production from the second liners and grinders toiling on the third and fourth lines.
"If we're to be successful, we can't rely on one line to do all the scoring, every line's got to contribute," Kisio said.
"You look back at all the series throughout the years as far as the NHL, there's always second- and third-line guys who step up and become key factors in the series.
"We're going to need that from those guys."
Tyrel Lucas, the Hitmen's second-line centre, is the only player other than the big three to score for Calgary in this series.
Players such as Konstantin Pushkarev, who finished behind Getzlaf in team scoring with 22 goals and 30 assists, didn't get on the scoresheet through the first two games.
For the 20-year-old Kazakhstan import, there's just been no room to wheel and deal against the 'Canes.
"They're doing a very a very good job as far as taking the space away from him and holding him up whenever they get a chance. They're tending to hook and hold, clutch and grab and don't allow him to do the things he likes to do," said Kisio.
"He's got to keep it simple and make his own breaks."
It's the first time the 6-ft. 1-in. L.A. Kings prospect has played in the WHL post-season and he might be getting a little steamed about not getting any room to roam.
"He's doing OK. He's a little frustrated but he's a fiery guy. When guys compete against him and put pressure on him, he tends to rise to the occasion and play as hard as he can," Kisio said.
"I think he'll come around as the playoffs go. He'll be fine."
Through the season, Pushkarev showed he's a streaky scorer.