Flyers chairman likes Penguins chances

| Sunday, April 26, 2009

Flyers chairman Ed Snider believes the Penguins are again favorites to play in the Stanley Cup final.

"Look, they were in the Stanley Cup final last year, and I don't think they've lost a step," Snider said after the Penguins' 5-3 victory Saturday at Wachovia Center, which bounced the Flyers from the playoffs for a second straight season.

"It's going to be a great rivalry for a long time. ... They're a better team than us, and we have to catch them. That's all it adds up to right now."

Round 2 tickets

About 2,000 tickets for the Penguins' first two second-round home playoff games go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. Tickets can be purchased at Mellon Arena Gate One box office or Ticketmaster outlets, and by calling 800-745-3000. Dates and times for games will be announced after the Eastern Conference's Round 2 pairings are set.

'O' that defense

Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton's goal in Game 6 yesterday was his second of the playoffs. Defensemen scored four of the Penguins' 18 goals in the opening round.

"It's something we've talked about since (interim coach Dan) Bylsma took over," Eaton said. "There's five guys out on the ice, why not use them all• It's about picking your spots. If you can get your shot and be safe, why not do it• It's an added bonus."

No power

• The Penguins' power-play hardly clicked against the Flyers, connecting at only 12.5 percent (4 for 32) in the series. The Penguins went 1-for-19 with the advantage after going 3-for-13 in Games 1 and 2.

Scratch that

Defenseman Kris Letang returned to the lineup yesterday for the Penguins after missing Game 5 on Thursday as a healthy scratch. Letang finished with an assist and a plus-1 rating; he was a minus-3 in his previous three games.

Bylsma said Letang "played well."

Right wing Miroslav Satan played in his second straight game, though 51 seconds less than he did in Game 5. Satan did not score yesterday.

"I felt about the same, but that first game was tough because of a two-week break," Satan said in reference to spending most of March in the AHL because of salary-cap reasons. "I needed an adjustment, especially jumping into the playoffs."

Right wings Petr Sykora and Eric Godard joined defenseman Philippe Boucher as Penguins scratches. The Flyers scratched left wing Riley Cote and defenseman Luca Sbisa.

The winners

Centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin finished tied with four series goals for the Penguins, but neither player scored a winner. Those were scored by: right wing Tyler Kennedy (Games 1 and 4), right wing Bill Guerin (Game 2) and defenseman Sergei Gonchar (Game 6).

Three stars

Three stars from Pens-Flyers first-round playoff series:

G Marc-Andre Fleury — His 45 saves in Game 4 gave Pens command of series.

C Evgeni Malkin — Recorded five points as Pens swept Games 1 and 2.

C Jordan Staal — Frustrated Flyers C Jeff Carter with shutdown defense.

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