Penalties rattle Neal
Right winger James Neal turned a terrible hat trick in Game 1. He was called for three penalties, including two in a row late in third period of the Penguins' 4-1 victory over Ottawa on Tuesday night.
“I've got to be more disciplined, because those are stupid penalties to take,” Neal said Wednesday.
“We're in full control of a game and I take penalties like that. It just rattles me that I take penalties, and penalty killers have to go out there and block shots in a 4-1 game.”
The Penguins rated second-worst among remaining playoff teams at 18.6 penalty minutes per game through Tuesday. They had been called for five or more penalties in five of seven games during the postseason.
Taking an option
An optional practice at Consol Energy Center was attended by 12 players, though center Evgeni Malkin appeared only briefly and did not wear full gear.
Coach Dan Bylsma said Wednesday — the first of two days between games — was beneficial for rest and film study. The Penguins will hold a full on-ice practice Thursday.
Time well spent
General manager Ray Shero is presiding over amateur scouting meetings this week, as the Penguins are drafting lists for the NHL Entry Draft (June 30) and free agency (July 5). Director Jay Heinbuck, in his seventh season, leads the amateur scouting staff.
— Rob Rossi
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