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It's A Great Day for Playoff Hockey - Apr. 21

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins


Wed Cincinnati Cyclones L, 4-3
Fri Cincinnati Cyclones L, 2-1
Sat at Cincinnati Cyclones W, 6-0
Mon at Cincinnati Cyclones L, 2-1 OT2

Cincinnati Cyclones forward Matt Syroczynski has scored some big goals with the club. His goal 3:48 into the second overtime against Wheeling on Monday night gave the best of seven series to the squad. It advances the Cyclones into the North Division Finals against either Trenton or Elmira. The seventh game in that series comes up Tuesday night.
It's a Great Day for Playoff Hockey will be tracking the Penguins' Stanley Cup quest with constant updates throughout the postseason.

2:51 PM:
The Penguins used their normal lineup configurations from the previous three games of the series at Tuesday's morning skate at Wachovia Center. And even if there are any planned changes, the coaching staff wouldn't let on to what they would be.

Pittsburgh normally conducts a 20-minute morning skate. But Tuesday, the players stayed on the ice for nearly 50 minutes.

2:44 PM:
Here are some quick hits from the open locker room session:

> Interim head coach Dan Bylsma dispelled the theory that the reason Pittsburgh dropped Game 3 on Sunday was because the Penguins' didn't control their emotions and were involvement in post-whistle scrums.

"I’m not sure the result of the game was the result of us getting involved in the scrums," Bylsma said. "We made some mistakes. They did some good things. We missed some coverage. That’s why they got up in the game and got up a couple of times. We’re talking about the emotions of playing on the road, the emotions of playing in this building. We’re talking about other things we can adjust too. That’s certainly a factor but there’s more to our success tonight than being in control of our emotions.

"Several times we didn’t make good decisions with the puck and that puts the other team with the advantage when you turn it over, or have you have a bad dump on the forecheck and it goes to the goalie and he rims it out. You’re caught on the forecheck while they’re going the other way on the rush. Those are puck management issues and it’s certainly something that’s going to be a key for us tonight."

> Sidney Crosby was asked if Philadelphia is the most hostile road environment.

"I’ve played here a lot personally," he said. "As a team, you always expect on the road in the playoffs for it to be more challenging. You expect the other team to have energy. It’s nothing new. It’s always a little more difficult on the road anyway. I don’t think it’s any more challenging because it is here."

When he was asked if Penguins fans will respond to the Flyers in the same manner at Mellon Arena, Crosby replied:

"I’m sure they’ll answer it, yeah. I’m not worried about that."

> Petr Sykora spoke briefly with the media. One of the topics was his lack of scoring production. He had this to say:

"With any luck I could have five, six points right now. It’s not really going the way I wanted. (I’ve had) a lot of chances here and there. I could have a few helpers here and there, it’s just that nothing’s going in right now. There’s nothing I can do about it, just continue getting those chances and hopefully it will turn around soon. We’ll see how it goes."

> A few of the Flyers commented that they felt they got into Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's head. Fleury was unflustered by the idea.

"No. I’m not going to change anything. It wasn’t too bad. They got a few goals and that’s something I don’t want to happen again. I’ll try to forget about it and start fresh tonight."

> Bylsma was also asked about the oddity of momentum during the playoffs.

"The great thing about the Stanley Cup playoffs is that there is very little prediction about what’s going to happen next based on previous experience," he said. "Some series you think you have momentum and the game is completely different than you anticipated. There have been times where I was completely sure that the next outcome would be a certain way and it didn’t work out that way. That’s the beauty of the Stanley Cup playoffs."

12:22 PM:
The Penguins sold out the 2,000 remaining tickets for Game 5 of the Penguins-Flyers series on Thursday at Mellon Arena at 7 p.m. Yet another strong outpouring of support from Penguins fans.

Author: Sam Kasan

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