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Pens struggling with 5 on 3 power plays

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Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011
 

Everyone has a theory about the Penguins' troubles on 5-on-3 power plays. The solution remains a mystery. Defenseman Kris Letang suggests working set plays down low, right wing James Neal believes the Penguins are being too fancy, and coach Dan Bylsma thinks his squad simply needs to relax. The Penguins have received four opportunities with a two-man advantage during their past three games, many of them for extended periods, and have failed to score. Despite receiving 5:17 of 5-on-3 power-play time in this stretch, the Penguins haven't even mustered quality opportunities. Malkin and Letang have had loads of shots blocked during the past week. "Sometimes you try to force things," Neal said. "You get away from the simple things." Bylsma said his team has to practice "emotional control" and suggested that the Penguins begin to rush plays when a power-play advantage reaches the latter stages. "Little things are big things when you're five-on-three," he said. "That's a point in the game when you feel like you should score a goal. The pressure mounts on you to score. The clock is ticking. We haven't been real disciplined in our execution. Maybe (we) felt the pressure."

-- Bylsma announced that Crosby will not play tonight against Florida. The coach said that Crosby's game-participation status will be updated on the day before games to "avoid speculation." Crosby did not speak with the media.

-- Center Dustin Jeffrey will not play for 10-15 days while he continues to strengthen his surgically repaired knee. Bylsma said that Jeffrey has not aggravated the injury.

-- Left wing Steve Sullivan did not practice Friday but is not believed to be injured.

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