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Pens' Therrien hopes for responsible officiating in finale

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By Mike Prisuta
Saturday, April 5, 2008
 

Given the combative nature of his team's rivalry with the Philadelphia Flyers this season, Penguins coach Michel Therrien urged referees working Sunday's regular-season finale not to swallow their whistles.

"We want to make sure that the referees and the league will call the right penalties," Therrien said Friday. "You saw a game (Thursday), Toronto-Ottawa, (Senators captain Daniel) Alfredsson got hit to the head. You don't want to see those types of things happen just before the playoffs. You have a team that's out of the playoffs (Toronto) and has nothing to lose."

Alfreddson and Senators center Mike Fisher were injured in Thursday night's 8-2 win over the Maple Leafs. Alfreddson sustained what the Senators are calling upper body and knee injuries after being hit by the Maple Leafs' Mark Bell.

Both players are out for "a while," coach Bryan Murray said on the Senators' Web site. "We're talking weeks."

"You want to make sure you play hard," Therrien said. "You want to make sure if there's a call to be made, you have to make the right call. They have a responsibility, not only to protect the good players, (Sidney) Crosby, (Evgeni) Malkin, (Marian) Hossa, all those type of players, but the rest of the players; they're important.

"You don't want things getting out of hand. Most of the time players respect each other on the ice, and they'll play hard and they'll play fair."

The game may mean something to the Penguins, who are trying to finish first overall in the Eastern Conference, and to the Flyers, who are competing to make the playoffs.

"We're not going to put everything in the same basket to win the conference," Therrien said.

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