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Pens' Bylsma has timetable down for stars

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Sunday, on the first of two days between Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference final, that he took the extra rest into consideration when playing centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin a combined 40 minutes, 57 seconds Saturday in a 6-2 victory at RBC Center.

"Knowing we had two days in between games, I was less concerned about the volume of ice time they got," he said. "They played less and less, even though it was quite a bit as the game went on."

Funny guy

Bylsma on right wing Bill Guerin's beautiful backhand, cross-ice, saucer pass to Crosby, who converted it into a 2-1 Penguins' lead in the first period of Game 3: "I didn't teach him that. I would have taught him to dump it."

Blameless

Hurricanes center Eric Staal, on goaltender Cam Ward, who has allowed 11 goals on 80 shots for a .863 save percentage in Games 2 and 3 of the Eastern Conference final: "You can't really blame him on a lot of them. (Those are) some pretty good players coming in (for the Penguins). That first one was a breakaway. Some odd man rushes, some 3-on-2s, some screens. He made some big saves. I thought in the second period he gave us a chance, and in the third we came within one and had a few looks after that."

Healthy goalie

Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice, on Ward's health: "He's 100 percent today. Everybody's got something. But when he's gotten to the net, he's been able to perform."

Who's to blame?

Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason was one of several Hurricanes pointing fingers at themselves following their 6-2 loss in Game 3.

"We can't completely shut these guys down every time, but we have to do a better job of doing it," he said. "Again, it starts with (me). I have to do my job correctly. I'm disappointed in the way I played."

Gleason's failure to clear a puck on a first-period penalty kill Saturday directly led to Malkin's tying goal.

By the numbers

Malkin's six consecutive multi-point playoff games are the most since the NHL introduced its modern format in 1994. Wayne Gretzky's all-time record is eight. ... Malkin and Crosby have combined for 54 points in 16 playoff games. Last season, they combined for 49 in 20 games.

Power to Sid

Crosby has scored five of his NHL-leading 14 playoff goals on the power play. Over the past two regular seasons, he scored just 13 power-play goals. He and Malkin, also with five power-play goals, are three from tying Mario Lemieux's franchise playoff record set in 1992.

Quotable

“I don't think I've ever seen this. It seems like he knows what is going to happen the next second. I'm talking about ‘Geno,' but I can say that about Sid, also. It's more than unbelievable at this point.” — Penguins right winger Miroslav Satan, on teammates Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, who are first and second in playoff scoring with 28 and 26 points, respectively.

Digits

16 — Goals scored by the Penguins in three wins to open the Eastern Conference final. Their previous best goal total when opening a best-of-seven series with three wins was 15 against the New York Rangers in a 1989 Patrick Division semifinal.

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