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Penguins hoping a little defense goes a long way

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 3:08 AM / News

Associated Press

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Penguins hoping a little defense goes a long way

PITTSBURGH (AP) - There are few teams in hockey as loaded offensively as the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The trouble for the Penguins is, there are plenty of teams better at the other end of the ice. Following two first-round playoff exits, including a six-game loss to Philadelphia last spring, Pittsburgh is hoping a renewed focus on defense will lead to the franchise's fourth Stanley Cup.

The Penguins led the NHL in scoring last year, and that was with star center Sidney Crosby limited to just 22 games due to concussion-like symptoms. Yet Pittsburgh was a middling 17th in goals allowed. The defense got even worse in the playoffs, when the Flyers scored 30 goals in six games.

The short training camp hasn't allowed Penguins coach Dan Bylsma to tweak the team's system yet, but the players say they need to be more responsible defensively.

Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense