ShareThis Page

Bylsma won't rest regulars Saturday vs. Flyers

| Friday, April 11, 2014, 7:39 p.m.

A Saturday afternoon home showdown with Philadelphia is “not a rest situation” for Penguins regulars, coach Dan Bylsma said Friday. However, Blysma said his lineup is a “game-time decision.”

The contest is not completely meaningless for the Penguins, who could play a role in determining their opening-round opponent for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Locked into the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed, the Penguins will play the first wild-card club in a best-of-seven series that begins either Wednesday or Thursday. The Penguins will have home-ice advantage.

The NHL's return to a divisional format for the playoffs guarantees that the Penguins, if they win Round 1, would play either the Flyers, New York Rangers or Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round. The Rangers will play either the Flyers or Blue Jackets in Round 1, with New York owning the home ice.

The Flyers and Blue Jackets were tied at 91 points before games played Friday. The Flyers and Blue Jackets also were even with the Detroit Red Wings, who will finish as either the first or second wild-card club. Philadelphia, Columbus and Detroit all had two games remaining.

The Blue Jackets played at Tampa Bay, and Detroit was home against Carolina on Friday night.

The NHL's first tiebreaker is regulation wins. Philadelphia had one more than Columbus as of Friday, and neither club could be passed in that category by Detroit.

• Winger Chris Kunitz did not finish practice at Southpointe Iceoplex. Bylsma described his departure as an “excused absence” and said it was not injury-related.

• Center Evgeni Malkin and wingers Chris Conner (feet) and forward Joe Vitale (mid-body injury) skated with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar before practice. Bylsma has not said if any of the injured players would be ready for Game 1 of the first round.

• Tickets remain available for playoff Games 1 and 2. The Penguins encourage fans to purchase at Ticketmaster's website, the Consol Energy Center box office or by calling (800) 745-3000.

• Winger Harry Zolnierczyk was recalled from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

— Rob Rossi

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.