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Penguins notebook: Bylsma identifies penalty-kill issues

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By Josh Yohe
Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9:36 p.m.
 

• The Penguins are on a roll these days, but one facet of their game remains a problem: Penalty killing. Coach Dan Bylsma has identified a couple of areas of concern with that unit. Perhaps the biggest problem in recent games has been an inability to win faceoffs. “We have lost a lot of faceoffs,” Bylsma said. “That has led to zone time.” Time, incidentally, is the other issue. The Penguins have always subscribed to a Bylsma adage that aggressiveness in the first 8 seconds of an opponent's power play is beneficial. “Getting clears in the first 8 seconds,” Bylsma responded when asked about the biggest problems on the penalty killing unit. “Being aggressive and getting the puck down the ice. We've failed a lot of clearing attempts, too. That leads to zone time against dangerous power plays. We've got to be better.”

• With center Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup because of an upper-body injury, center Dustin Jeffrey was inserted into his spot on the second line. He played between wingers James Neal and Beau Bennett. Bylsma tinkered with third-line center Brandon Sutter moving up to the second line when Malkin missed four games with a concussion earlier this season, but opted to keep the first, third and fourth lines intact.

• The Penguins removed much of the beef from their lineup against the Islanders by making defensemen Deryk Engelland and Robert Bortuzzo healthy scratches. It marked the first time this season that Engelland has been a healthy scratch. Defenseman Mark Eaton returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Toronto.

— Josh Yohe

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