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Coach Bylsma gives Penguins the day off

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, May 28, 2009
 

The Penguins did not practice Wednesday.

After returning early in the morning on a charter flight from Raleigh, N.C., the team was given an off day by coach Dan Bylsma.

Speaking of Bylsma, he is seeking to become the third coach in franchise history to win the Stanley Cup in his first season — joining Hockey Hall-of-Famers "Badger" Bob Johnson in 1991 and Scotty Bowman in 1992.

"I had no idea," Bylsma said. "A bunch of one-year wonders in that group, huh?"

• Prospect defenseman Robert Bortuzzo signed a three-year contract with the Penguins, general manager Ray Shero announced. Bortuzzo, 20, scored a goal and recorded 17 points in 23 games this season with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League. He was selected in the third round (78th overall) in the 2007 NHL entry draft.

• Apparently Penguins fever is boldly going where it never has gone before — Philadelphia. Flyers center Mike Richards in an interview with NHL.com : "They got on a streak when they switched coaches. They got confidence back and when you got confidence, it's a scary team to play against with that many skilled players. I'm not surprised. It's encouraging for the league for them to have success."

The Penguins have eliminated the Flyers from the past two postseasons, including a six-game first-round series in April.

• The Penguins have won six road games in the playoffs. They won five road games in their run to the 2008 Cup final. The franchise record is eight road victories in 1992 — the last time the Penguins swept a conference final before downing the Carolina Hurricanes in four games this year.

DIGITS

3 — Goals needed by C Sidney Crosby to match former Penguins LW Kevin Stevens' franchise record for playoff goals in one postseason (17)

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