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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Game 2 win would give Pens big edge

Friday, 04.17.2009 / 1:23 PM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- There's a saying about the correct use of statistics: Use them like a drunk uses a light pole -- for support, not illumination.

Every game is a must-win at playoff time, but Game 2 of a series might be just a bit more important. Teams that win Game 1 of a series win that series 69.1 percent of the time; teams that win Game 2 take the series 71.8 percent of the time.

And for the Penguins, another win and a 2-0 series lead gives them an 87.2 percent chance of advancing.

In other words, a win Friday (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS) in Game 2 of this conference quarterfinal series means a lot more than just moving halfway toward advancing to the next round.

"We can put some pressure on them (with a win), but it's four games and everyone knows that," said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. "We can put a little more pressure on them if we can win tonight."

The Penguins won't look too far ahead, however.

"We got the first one out of the way and now we want the second and that's all we're worried about," defenseman Hal Gill told NHL.com. "You don't worry about percentages; you worry about winning the next game."

Flyers need discipline -- One of the obvious problems for the Flyers in Game 1 was a lack of discipline. They handed the Penguins eight power plays, including three in the first period. While the Pens scored on just one of them, it was the first one and set the tone for the game.

"We were on the penalty kill too much," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "They get the lead on the power play, which gives them confidence. … When you score on your power play early it starts to feel like your whole game plan is in motion."

It's not better play the Flyers need, it's smarter play.

"We know in Game 1 bad penalties -- I don't want to say they cost us the game, but they definitely gave them the momentum early in the game, got their first power play and scored their first goal on it,” Stevens said. “Especially on the road, you know the crowd is going to be energized by it, those guys are going to be energized by that first goal, and it's all coming from a penalty by us. We need to be better at that."

"We took a lazy penalty on the first one and then the penalties we can and will avoid, not giving them opportunities," said Stevens. "There's going to be penalties in the game playing the game the right way and playing with the right intentions. We need to get rid of everything else."

Sbisa in for Carcillo -- With Daniel Carcillo suspended for Friday's game, Philadelphia rookie defenseman Luca Sbisa will shift onto the fourth line as the left wing on a line with Jared Ross and Arron Asham.

Sbisa played a few games as a forward during his 39 with the Flyers earlier this season. At 19, he'll be the youngest player in the playoffs.

"I talked to him last night," coach John Stevens said. "He's extremely excited. I think he'll do fine. He's a big guy with a really good skill set, strong on the puck, can get in on the forecheck. I really expect him to be fine. He's excited, he's not nervous."

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round