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Penguins notebook: Bylsma prefers tightly called series

| Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 7:33 p.m.

Dan Bylsma has coached 74 Stanley Cup playoff games with the Penguins — more than enough to know that challenging officials to call more penalties against an opponent probably will not work in his squad's favor.

The Penguins were awarded only one power play in a Game 3 victory Monday night. They have had only eight power-play chances in Round 2. The New York Rangers have had 13.

“I'd like to think we're capable of going on the power play more than one time,” Bylsma said Tuesday after an optional practice for the Penguins at Madison Square Garden. “And that's indicative of the way we played more than the referee.”

Bylsma said he prefers a tight series such as this one against the Rangers compared to Round 1 against Columbus, which averaged 9.67 power plays (combined) for the six games.

• Rangers coach Alain Vigneault did not hold practice Tuesday. The Rangers had played six games in nine days after Game 3, and the rest of Round 2 is on an every-other-day schedule.

• Though not cleared for regular activity as of Tuesday, defenseman Brooks Orpik is progressing toward returning to practice, the Penguins believe. Orpik has missed the last five games with an undisclosed injury.

• Center Brandon Sutter did his best impersonation of a scene-stealer at the Penguins' media availability Tuesday. He and defenseman Kris Letang spoke at a podium, and Sutter started the session by conducting a playful microphone check. Later, when Letang, who is French Canadian, looked to Sutter for help with the best way to convey a thought, Sutter obliged — then followed with, “We couldn't do two French guys. We had to do one.” That comment garnered laughter and a smile from Letang.

• Center Evgeni Malkin began Tuesday tied for third in playoff scoring with 10 points. With his next postseason assist, he will tie Ron Francis for fourth on the Penguins' all-time list. Francis had 68 assists.

• Tickets for Game 5 on Friday night at Consol Energy Cente remain available for purchase at Ticketmaster outlets and via that web site and the arena box office. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

– Rob Rossi

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