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Penguins notebook: Blackhawks' streak impresses Penguins

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By Josh Yohe
Friday, March 8, 2013, 7:51 p.m.
 

• The Penguins generally concern themselves with the Eastern Conference, this season, in particular, because their schedule does not include a Western Conference team. Still, like the rest of the hockey world, they've been quite aware of the Blackhawks. And quite impressed. Chicago entered play Friday in Colorado with a 21-0-3 record. “I watched the whole game (Wednesday) night,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “I'm so impressed by their balance. Obviously, you need a little bit of luck, but it's easy to point to luck. When it gets this long, it's not luck.” Some of the great regular season teams in NHL history — namely the 1993 Penguins and 1996 Red Wings — have failed in the postseason. The Penguins, though, sense that the Blackhawks aren't going to be emotionally fatigued by this streak, unlike other great regular season teams that perhaps became consumed by their pre-playoff success. “That's a great team,” left wing Tanner Glass said. “I played against them a lot in Vancouver. I was part of a great rivalry. It's obvious what a confident bunch they are right now. They're playing like they aren't feeling any pressure at all.”

• Penguins coach Dan Bylsma confirmed that he has not been displeased with the recent work of defenseman Simon Despres, who did not play against the Flyers on Thursday. “The consistency in his game is really where he needs to improve,” Bylsma said. “But he didn't come out of the lineup because of inconsistent play. It was just a situation where we went with a more veteran lineup in Philadelphia. It's a tough building.”

• Defenseman Kris Letang did not practice Friday. Bylsma did not indicate that the Penguins are dealing with any injuries.

— Josh Yohe

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