Penguins aren't making excuses for loss to Flyers in Game 1

| Friday, April 13, 2012

Sometimes a Stanley Cup playoff game is altered by a missed call.

The Penguins, though, weren`t about to make excuses for their Game 1 loss.

Replays clearly show Flyers forward Danny Briere offside a moment before beating Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway during the second period on Wednesday. Still, the Penguins sounded like a team that deserved its fate, even if the call went against them.

'It affected the game,' center Sidney Crosby said. 'But at the end of the day, there is nothing that (we can do). Worrying about it and thinking about it is not going to change anything. It`s over, and there are a lot of other things that went on that are in our control that we could have been better at. Our focus is on that.'

Defensemen Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin were on the ice when center Joe Vitale`s turnover led to Briere`s breakaway.

'Paulie and I knew it was offside,' Orpik said. 'We were right on the blueline. There was no way it was onside.'

Like Crosby, Orpik refused to blame the outcome on the missed call.

'We make hundreds of mistakes during games,' Orpik said. 'It`s probably unfair to let the linesman (be accountable) for that one mistake.'

Contrasting styles

There was little mystery which team was satisfied with its Game 1 performance.

The Penguins held an intense practice Thursday that lasted nearly an hour. The Flyers held an optional practice that about half the team attended.

Beware of the comeback

The Flyers have roared back from 2-0 deficits eight times this season, ultimately emerging with victories.

Many members of this Flyers team took part in the 2010 postseason, when Philadelphia came back from a three-games-to-none hole — and a 3-0 deficit in Game 7 — to defeat the Bruins.

'It`s something admirable,' Orpik said. 'We`ve known that going back two years ago when they were down to the Bruins. They obviously have good character.'

Lineup change?

Veteran Flyers defenseman Pavel Kubina was a healthy scratch against the Penguins in Game 1 but might return to the lineup Friday night.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said he has been pleased with Kubina`s work but wouldn`t comment on possible lineup changes.

'It`s always tough to be out of the lineup,' Kubina said. 'We`ll see tomorrow. It`s a game-time decision.'

Staying healthy

All of the Penguins who participated in the series opener were on the ice for practice Thursday. The only injured Penguins regular — defenseman Matt Niskanen — skated by himself but did not participate with the team.

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