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Pens' Kennedy still without a playoff goal

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Burning question: What happened to rookie right wing Tyler Kennedy's scoring touch?

Breakdown: Kennedy scored eight goals in his first 28 NHL games but has tallied only twice in his past 43, including an 0-for-16 performance in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He is the only regular Penguins forward without a playoff goal.

PuckSpeak: "In junior (hockey), I went through something like this," Kennedy said. "It's part of hockey. I've tried my hardest. They're not going in for me right now. What can I do?"

Looking ahead: Certainly, the Penguins have greater concerns than Kennedy's inability to score goals. After all, Hart Trophy finalist Evgeni Malkin has scored only one more goal than Kennedy over the past six games. Kennedy actually has outshot Malkin over that span, 11-10.

Still, Kennedy needs to find his scoring touch, and soon.

His is not a case of limited opportunities.

He is skating on a third line with center Jordan Staal - arguably the Penguins' most consistent forward in the Stanley Cup final. Kennedy also was a fixture on the Penguins' second power-play unit.

Kennedy said coaches have not addressed his goal drought in a negative way, preferring to focus on the positive that is the energy he brings and the speed with which he plays.

Perhaps they should shift their focus.

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