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It's A Great Day for Playoff Hockey - Apr. 16

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
It's a Great Day for Playoff Hockey will be tracking the Penguins' Stanley Cup quest with constant updates throughout the postseason.

6:20 PM:
The NHL handed a one-game suspension to Daniel Carcillo for his hit on Talbot at the end of Game 1. Read whole story here.

5:07 PM:
We are still waiting on word from the NHL regarding the hearing held today at 3 p.m. with Philadelphia's Daniel Carcillo on his hit on Max Talbot.

Taking the high road, Talbot had this to say to the media:

"I just took the draw and I don't know what he tried to do. The important thing is to get the win and we don't really worry about what they do. They were undisciplined at the end. They were trying to send a message and that's OK with us."

3:56 PM:
Here is ESPN's Scott Burnside's take on Game 1 of Pens-Flyers series. Key quote below:

"Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said before Game 1 -- his first as an NHL head coach -- that he likes to think of a playoff series as not a best-of-seven affair, but a race to four. The Penguins announced Wednesday the race is on."

3:09 PM:
Flyers coach John Stevens had some glowing things to say about the play of Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal at his post-practice press conference Thursday. Staal won 11 of 14 faceoffs, played over 20-plus minutes and was used to counter Philadelphias top line of Scott Hartnell-Jeff Carter-Joffrey Lupul,shutting the trio out.

"They’ve got the luxury of having Staal, who has blossomed into a really strong, big, two-way forward that they can play in virtually any situation," Stevens said. "I thought he had a strong game last night."

2:58 PM:
A few notes on the Flyers Thursday afternoon practice at Mellon Arena. First, Philadelphia's top defenseman, Kimmo Timonen, was absent.

Timonen, played through a lot of pain in Game 1 after absorbing a check from Chris Kunitz in the opening minutes of the game. He still played 21:32 minutes in the game.

While he didn't practice, coach Stevens said that he should not miss any time.

"I think he is going to be fine. He probably could have skated today. We felt we would leave him off and get him rested up. It did seem to affect him a little bit but I think after a days rest and a days treatment, we’re hopeful that he will be fine and feeling good."

Second, forward Darroll Powe skated on the third line with Daniel Briere and Claude Giroux, replacing Arron Asham. When asked why he promoted Powe, Stevens responded:

"You get another guy that can take faceoffs. You have three guys on that line, he is a left-handed center iceman and he’s got a lot of quickness that he can get in and get on top of the puck. I think he really played well, it’s just rewarding him more than anything else. He’s a straight-line player that gets to the net and he’s a straight-line player that can really get in on the forecheck. We may use a variety of combinations like we have recently. Claude and Danny have been the constant on that line and we move people in and out, so we’ll add Ash or Powe. I thought when we moved him up last night he did a good job so we thought we would give it a look in practice."


2:41 PM:
The NHL is having a hearing with Daniel Carcillo at 3 p.m. on the late-game incident with Max Talbot. We will keep you posted with any information that comes out from the hearing. Flyers coach John Stevens did have this to say on the matter at the post-practice press conference:

"I didn’t see it. I wasn’t even aware of it until the game was over and was contacted by the league so then I went back and looked at it. I think he gave him a shot after the faceoff there. I think there was some discussion whether he used his stick or not, I don’t think that was the case at all, but he gave him a shot off of the faceoff there and they are looking into it."

If Carcillo is suspended, Stevens said the team has several options on how to shuffle the lineup.

"We’ll wait and see what happens there. One option is (Luca) Sbisa. We can dress seven defensemen. Sbisa played up front a little bit before and did a great job and is a pretty versatile guy. So the option would be Sbisa or the other option would be to get somebody up from the Phantoms."

1:57 PM:
Caught up with Sidney Crosby today for his daily media session. Nothing major was discussed. The topic of the day seemed to be how the team was playing with confidence...well that and the Flyers late-game shenanigans.

By the way, the media opened the session with one of the most ridiculous questions I've ever heard. And I quote:

"At the end of the game with the extra slashing, did that get into your head that you got into their head, that maybe you got them to feel that they have to get into your head?"

Did you follow all of that?

Now I just want to know how I can get that question out of my head.

11:46 AM:
The shootout came down to former Boston College teammates Orpik and Scuderi. After a few rounds, Orpik managed to slip the puck behind goaltender Mathieu Garon. Scuderi was denied on his attempt by Marc-Andre Fleury. Looks like Scuderi will be serving his teammates Gatorade today.

11:42 AM:
The Penguins held their semi-regular post-practice shootout Thursday afternoon. We're down to  six shooters: Gill, Sykora, Orpik, Kennedy, Scuderi and Boucher.

11:37 AM:
Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote today that the Flyers' Mike Richards looks frustrated and exhausted. We've only played one game!

11:15 AM:
Great article today by Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Basically, stating that the Penguins' victory was the result of smart, tough play.

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