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Power play one problem for Penguins in Game 1

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

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Power play one problem for Penguins in Game 1
The Pittsburgh Penguins spent extra time Thursday working on their power play, an area team captain Sidney Crosby said needs to be better for Game 2 of their playoff series with the Philadelphia Flyers.

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby's message after practice Thursday was predictable, yet poignant.

The Penguins need to move on to Game 2 on Friday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN), but they absolutely cannot forget about how and why they wasted a three-goal lead en route to a 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

"Today you come to practice and try to adjust or make changes on things you want to do better going into the game tomorrow," Crosby said. "We know that game is over and we just have to make sure we're better. There are a lot of things that went on that were in our control, and our focus is on that."

Among those is the power play, which never generated any sustained pressure on the Flyers' penalty killers. Pittsburgh went 0-for-3 with five shots on the man-advantage.


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The Penguins now are 1-for-44 on the power play in their last nine playoff games, dating to Game 7 against Montreal in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

"It felt like we'd take a shot and they'd clear it. We didn't really get set up and really try to expose anything there," Crosby said. "We were trying to get shots, which is always a good mentality to have on any power play, but sometimes I think we could have been a bit more patient to try to set something up. We took some shots; they cleared it. We had a couple of problems with entries and lost a couple of draws. It wasn't one thing, but we just weren't sharp enough."

The Penguins spent a good portion of practice Thursday working on the power play. One of the wrinkles they tossed in was putting Steve Sullivan on the right point, a position he played for the bulk of the season.

"He's played there all year and shown he's pretty comfortable there," Crosby said. "He can make plays and he's a smart player. He distributes the puck well, so he brings all of that to the power play. He's pretty familiar with that area."

Beyond the power play, Crosby said the Penguins lost Game 1 because they got away from the speed game that was so effective in helping them take a 3-0 lead after the first period.

"We had that 3-0 lead and we really just stopped doing the things we needed to do -- getting pucks deep, managing the puck," Crosby said. "They had a lot of time at that point to get opportunities and get back in the game. It's over and there is nothing we can do about it now. We have to make sure we play a full hockey game here the next one."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
World Cup of Hockey 2016