Penguins notebook: Pens still juggling bottom six forwards
There is one game left in the regular season, but the Penguins still are shuffling bottom-six forwards.
Harry Zolnierczyk was the latest to try to lock down a role, called up for Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers at Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins play Ottawa on Sunday, and that, like many of the team's games down the stretch, will be used as an audition for playoff ice time.
“With injuries and the way things are going, I just think they're looking for a few options for the playoffs,” said Zolnierczyk, who took the spot of Taylor Pyatt. “This is an opportunity to show myself for a playoff spot.”
Zolnierczyk appeared on a fourth line with Craig Adams and Deryk Engelland. The third line consisted of Brandon Sutter between Tanner Glass and Jayson Megna.
Neither line recorded a point or blocked a shot.
They combined for four penalty minutes, six shots, one takeaway and only nine of the Penguins' 35 hits.
Special teams special
As has been the trend in this series, the Flyers won the special teams battle.
Jakub Voracek's man-advantage goal gave the Flyers a power-play goal in 14 consecutive games, including three playoff games, at Consol Energy Center, and the Penguins didn't convert in 6 minutes, 26 seconds of power play time, including 1:34 with a five-on-three advantage.
“It's too bad our power play didn't score,” winger Jussi Jokinen said. “We did lots of good things.”
Evgeni Malkin skated before the game with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma didn't watch but said Malkin has “progressed from early on where he was just getting out there with motion, movement to stops and starts to more of a rigorous skate in the last couple.”
Open ice abounds
Because of penalties to Glass and Voracek at the end of regulation, overtime started three on three.
“It was the first time for me, I think, as a coach (to see that),” Bylsma said.
Around the boards
Saturday was Byslma's 400th game as head coach. He's 252-117-31. … Jokinen's first-period goal gave him 20 on the season, his most since scoring 30 for the Hurricanes in 2011-12. … A win against Ottawa on Sunday would be the Penguins' 101st at Consol Energy Center.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Penguins pushing to sell playoff tickets
- Penguins stars Crosby, Malkin enduring playoff slump
- Mackey: For Pens’ Winnik, playing with Crosby an ongoing process
- Penguins notebook: Ehrhoff, Pouliot remain questionable for Game 2
- Penguins’ 4th line a bright spot in Game 1 loss
- Rangers prove best defense is aggressive offense in Game 1
- Penguins suffer from penalty disparity in Game 1 against Rangers
- Penguins know what’s coming in their playoff series against Rangers
- Value of Penguins’ power play, penalty kill could increase vs. Rangers
- Pittsburgh, Penguins putting playoffs on public big screens
- Could this be last go-around for current group of Penguins?