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Penguins Report: Game Day at Boston

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins

5:31 PM: With some of the negativity surounding this game, I think we can all use a little laugh to help us appreciate what makes this game and its players one we all love. This is video from a Sidney Crosby press conference back in November after he carried the 2010 Olympic Torch in his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia:



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5:26 PM:
Head coach Dan Bylsma addressed the media upon the Penguins arrival at TD Garden. Here is what Bylsma had to say:

On what Colin Campbell said to both teams this morning:
I think to no one’s surprise he talked about playing the game and playing it the right way. There is a lot on the line for Boston. We feel this is a big game for us as well getting back from our loss last night. The focus will be on playing the game and playing it the right way. That is where our focus will be.
On any talk that there could be hefty fines if the game gets out of hand:
There was just an understanding that everyone will be watching this game. We have to play the game and play it the right way. That was the focus.
On addressing anything with Cooke before the game:
I think this is not the first time that we have been in a game like this. There have been other situations with other teams. I think there is a lot of talk or scrutiny outside the rink and outside the playing surface. I know they are real focused on this game being two points they need to get in the playoff race. We are going out there to play our game. We are aware and so is Matt of the circumstances. Again, our plan, and their plan as well, is to go out and win this hockey game.
On if he expected this much hype in the hours following the March 7 matchup:
No, not at all. This is more than I could have imagined.
On whether Godard will dress:
Our lineup is going to be (a) game-time (decision).
On wrapping up a positive road trip:
Our focus coming out of the break was getting back to the way we could play no matter where we were at. This road trip featured five games on the road against good competition. We are ending it tonight. Having a chance to end it with a win would wrap up a pretty good road trip. The first half of the last 20 (games) we can look back and say we played them well.
On Cooke's mindset going into the game:
Again, this is not the first time a guy has had to think about a game before (it). I think most guys who have played the game have been in situations where they had a game circled on the calendar. It is one you anticipate with some uneasy feelings. You would like to play and get it over with. I think that is where Matt is at. Again, we are going out – the Pittsburgh Penguins with Matt Cooke – to win this hockey game. That is the way we are going to play it.
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1:11 PM:
Sounds heard round the Penguins locker room following this morning's optional skate at TD Garden:

Evgeni Malkin

On hoping to play on Saturday:
I hope. I will take it day-by-day. I can’t go tonight but I hope I can go in the next game. I am feeling better every day.
On missing this game because of the hype surrounding it:
It is going to be a tough and physical game tonight. I think Boston needs points if they want to make the playoffs. I don’t expect them to play dirty tonight because they don’t want to play on the PK the whole game. I think it’s going to be a tough game but not a dirty one.
On the spot Savard got hurt from being a popular space for snipers due to the larger offensive zone:
It’s a good spot. It’s right in the middle of the offensive zone. Savard was shooting the puck there and he couldn’t see Cookie. It’s a physical game. He just couldn’t see his right side and Cookie coming.
On the Penguins preparing for this game:
We know how to play. We are not going to change. We are ready to play. We didn’t practice this morning because we played yesterday. We are going to be ready tonight to play the game.

Marc-Andre Fleury

On the Bruins taking their frustrations out on Crosby:
I don’t know. I’m not on their side. We will have to wait and see tonight to how they react.
On if he is concerned for Sid:
No, I think we have played some tough game before. We will be ready for that. We have a good bunch of guys who stick up for each other. We will be alright.
On if he thinks the Bruins have a right to be angry:
You never want to see a guy get injured like that. It is always sad. Hockey happens fast. It stinks to see Marc (Savard) going down like that. Maybe now the rules will change a bit and we can prevent things like that from happening.
On getting back at it after the New Jersey game:
Yeah, definitely. It is always tough to lose – especially to them. We are in a tight battle for the division championship. It’s good to get back at it and get two points tonight.
On his surprise at no immediate action from the Bruins on March 7:
I guess a little bit. I am not on their side. I think we are going to be ready for whatever they bring. The bottom line tonight is to get those two points.
On how he would respond if that happened to a teammate:
I don’t know. It hasn’t happened yet.
On finishing the trip strong:
It is such a tight race for everybody right now to make the playoffs. I think every point matters. We want to be at the top of the standings. These will be a tough two points tonight.
On what Cooke has said following the hit:
He doesn’t really talk about it. I am sure he is sad about what happened. He plays a certain way to help us win games and he has to do that to be successful and for us to be good.
On whether he thinks Cooke must be aware tonight:
I am sure he will keep his head up all night. I’m sure he will be fine.
On being worried about the Bruins taking runs at him:
No. I have been run before.

Eric Godard

On playing against Boston:
I don’t know. I have been skating and waiting to get back in.
On the hype surrounding the game:
These games always get hyped up a lot. They are in a tight race so the two points are huge. I am just trying to contribute.
On whether Cooke should have his head up:
Matt always has his head up. He is more than able of taking care of himself.
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12:12 PM:
Here are pictures from the Penguins optional morning skate at TD Garden:

 

 

 
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12:05 PM:
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin just finished addressing reporters at TD Garden. He said that he will miss his second straight game tonight against the Bruins. Malkin hopes to return to the lineup on Saturday when the Carolina Hurricanes invade Mellon Arena.
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11:34 AM:
Four Penguins are currently participating in an optional morning skate at TD Garden. Goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Brent Johnson have been joined on the ice by forward Eric Godard and defenseman Jay McKee. Godard is looking to get back into the lineup for the first time since he injured his groin back on Jan. 25 against the New York Rangers.
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