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Penguins notebook: Malkin, Crosby upset about late penalties

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 8:24 p.m.

The Penguins weren't thrilled with their performance against the Maple Leafs, and their two best players were livid with the officiating.

A boarding call to Chris Kunitz and a penalty for too many men on the ice — both in the third period — left the Penguins puzzled.

Crosby was given a minor penalty for a comment to an official following the too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. At the game's end, Malkin was given a game misconduct, though it wasn't immediately clear why.

The Penguins were upset because the linesman beside the bench ruled the play acceptable, but the linesman from across the bench called the penalty.

Kunitz's hit received plenty of attention.

“The first one (Kunitz also was called for boarding earlier in the game) was probably 50-50,” Crosby said. “The second one was a pretty clean hit.”

Replays showed that Kunitz hit Toronto defenseman Mike Komisarek, who had the puck, in the chest, knocking him into the boards. At the time, the Penguins were down, 4-2, but on the power play.

“I don't understand that call,” right wing Craig Adams said. “The way I understood it, if a guy knows there is a guy coming to finish the check and he puts himself in a vulnerable decision, that's his choice and it's not a penalty.”

• Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland and Toronto right wing Colton Orr are hardly strangers, and they reacquainted themselves during the home opener at Consol Energy Center on Wednesday.

Engelland scored a memorable knockout of Orr on Oct. 13, 2010, during the second game played at Consol Energy Center.

This time around wasn't so one-sided, but Engelland again got the best of the Maple Leafs' enforcer.

The two dropped their gloves just 5:58 into the first period.

Just like left wing Tanner Glass and Rangers' forward Arron Asham two nights earlier, the fight between Engelland and Orr was unusually long, as the two landed heavy right hands for almost a minute. Engelland began and finished the fight by firing a flurry of rights at Orr.

Engelland kept an ice pack on his hand while in the penalty box and briefly left the game for medical attention. He returned late in the first period.

• Center Joe Vitale started on the fourth line in place of center Dustin Jeffrey, who was a healthy scratch. Jeffrey started the season opener in Philadelphia before giving way to Vitale. No stranger to fighting for a spot in the lineup, Vitale said he believes the situation could bring out the best in him. “I am always competing to be a part of this team,” Vitale said. “It's nothing I'm not used to, and I think it's a good thing.” Defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Robert Bortuzzo were healthy scratches for a third consecutive game.

• Left wing Chris Kunitz will join defenseman Brooks Orpik as an alternate captain this season. Kunitz will wear the “A” at home games, and Orpik will wear it during road games. Center Evgeni Malkin is permanently an alternate captain.

• The Penguins honored Malkin — winner of the Hart, Art Ross and Ted Lindsay trophies last season — in a video during a break in the first period.

— Josh Yohe

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