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Penguins lose game, but gain valuable playoffs preparation

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Flyers' Scott Hartnell celebrates with Jakub Voracek after Voracek's second-period goal against the Penguins on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Flyers' Scott Hartnell celebrates with Jakub Voracek after Voracek's second-period goal against the Penguins on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Flyers' Braydon Coburn takes out the Penguins' Brandon Sutter in the second period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Flyers' Braydon Coburn takes out the Penguins' Brandon Sutter in the second period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Flyers' Jakub Voracek beats Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period for his second goal of the game Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Flyers' Jakub Voracek beats Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period for his second goal of the game Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' James Neal and Brian Gibbons watch as Jussi Jokinen's first-period shot beats Flyers goaltender Steve Mason on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' James Neal and Brian Gibbons watch as Jussi Jokinen's first-period shot beats Flyers goaltender Steve Mason on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Flyers goaltender Steve Mason makes a second-period save on the Penguins' Beau Bennett on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Flyers goaltender Steve Mason makes a second-period save on the Penguins' Beau Bennett on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' Matt Niskanen celebrates with Jussi Jokinen after Jokinen's first-period goal against the Flyers on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' Matt Niskanen celebrates with Jussi Jokinen after Jokinen's first-period goal against the Flyers on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Flyers celebrate Mark Streit's winning goal in overtime against the PEnguins on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Flyers celebrate Mark Streit's winning goal in overtime against the PEnguins on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Flyers' Sean Couturier celebrates Mark Streit's winning goal in overtime against the Penguins on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Flyers' Sean Couturier celebrates Mark Streit's winning goal in overtime against the Penguins on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' Kris Letang celebrates his game-tying goal against the Flyers in the third period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' Kris Letang celebrates his game-tying goal against the Flyers in the third period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins and Flyers tangle at the end of the third Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins and Flyers tangle at the end of the third Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Flyers goaltender Ray Emery makes a third-period save on the Penguins' Kris Letang on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Flyers goaltender Ray Emery makes a third-period save on the Penguins' Kris Letang on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Flyers' Jakub Voracek's first-period shot beats Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for a first-period goal Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Flyers' Jakub Voracek's first-period shot beats Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for a first-period goal Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Flyers' Jakub Voracek celebrates with Claude Giroux after Giroux's third-period goal Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Flyers' Jakub Voracek celebrates with Claude Giroux after Giroux's third-period goal Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Flyers' Mark Streit celebrates his overtime goal behind Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Flyers' Mark Streit celebrates his overtime goal behind Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Flyers' Braydon Coburn takes out the Penguins' Brandon Sutter in the second period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Flyers' Braydon Coburn takes out the Penguins' Brandon Sutter in the second period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' Jason Megna takes out Flyers goaltender Steve Mason and defenseman Andrew MacDonald in the second period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' Jason Megna takes out Flyers goaltender Steve Mason and defenseman Andrew MacDonald in the second period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Flyers goaltender Steve Mason makes a pad save on the Penguins' Beau Bennett in the second period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Flyers goaltender Steve Mason makes a pad save on the Penguins' Beau Bennett in the second period Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.

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By Josh Yohe
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 6:21 p.m.
 

The monotony almost is over.

Playing in a series of meaningless games since February, the Penguins are finally getting healthy and felt positive following Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers at Consol Energy Center.

“We played this game as playoff preparation,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “What we want to get out of it is to improve as a team.”

Despite recent lackluster performances in games against Minnesota and Carolina, the Penguins believe they are trending upward.

Another effort like the one they had on Saturday against the Flyers, the Penguins insist, will lead to positive results in the postseason.

“Today's game was much better for us,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “Everybody remembers the home-and-home against them three weeks earlier. That didn't go well.”

This game was different.

The Penguins outshot Philadelphia, 36-21, but were victimized by a poor outing from goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, something that hasn't often been the case this season. James Neal and Kris Letang scored dramatic goals late in the third period to tie the score after the Flyers had gone ahead.

Mark Streit won the game for Philadelphia in overtime.

One regular-season game remains — the Penguins host Ottawa at 7:30 p.m. Sunday — and the Penguins intend to build some momentum into the postseason.

“I think we (need to) follow up on this performance,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “As a whole, we want to feel good about our game. I think there's some things we can take from today that are good.”

The Penguins played without injured center Evgeni Malkin as well standouts Brooks Orpik and Chris Kunitz.

Although Bylsma labeled Orpik and Kunitz as “day-to-day,” neither is believed to be seriously injured, and both will be available for the postseason.

The Penguins are expected to rest goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on Sunday. It remains unknown if other players will receive the night off, though Crosby said that, as of Saturday night, he was expecting to play against the Senators.

Crosby, who recorded an assist against the Flyers, was especially pleased with the Penguins' mindset. They have lost their composure against the Flyers on many occasions but not on this day.

Crosby also pointed out the Penguins didn't mail in a performance even if the result was irrelevant.

“For a game that didn't really move us anywhere — it didn't have any bearing on us — we came with the right attitude, the right mindset,” he said.

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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