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Notebook: Pens' Malkin, Sykora to play today

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

• Neither center Evgeni Malkin nor right wing Petr Sykora skated Saturday morning at RMU Island Sports Center, where the Penguins were forced to practice because of a concert at Mellon Arena. Both are expected to play today. "They should be ready," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "It's just sickness. We believe at this time of the year that rest sometimes can be more important than practice." Forward Gary Roberts, who has been out with pneumonia, skated yesterday and could play in Game 5.

• The Penguins announced the signing of forward Keven Veilleux, their 2007 second-round choice (No. 51 overall), to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Veilleux split this past season between Rimouski and Victoriaville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, scoring 64 points (17 goals) in 61 games, before joining the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton AHL affiliate.

• had Penguins' Reebok 2008 Eastern Conference Champions locker room hats available for $28.99 before Game 5, despite their 3-1 series lead. "They're optimistic and they have reason to be. They've played extremely well," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "We've said all along we got lots of work to do to prevent that. I just got done watching the Detroit-Dallas game. When you get to this point, there's lots of pride, lots of fight. Until they tell us we're done, we've got lots of fight in us."

• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 13 of the 155 (8.4 percent) all-time Stanley Cup playoffs series in which one team led 3-0 went to a sixth game. That includes the Dallas Stars' 2-1 victory yesterday at Detroit, which now holds a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference final.

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