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Pens' Dupuis a question mark for Game 1

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'American Coyotes' Series

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.

Monday, May 18, 2009
 

The status of left wing Pascal Dupuis for tonight's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final at Mellon Arena remains a "game-time decision," according to Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.

Dupuis did not play the final three games of the second-round series against Washington, though the Penguins dressed seven defensemen in those contests because of Sergei Gonchar's right-knee injury.

"We'll probably be dressing 12 forwards and seven defensemen in warm-ups," Bylsma said Sunday, adding that the Penguins "miss (Dupuis)" on their penalty-kill units. "He adds in the speed department, and he's one guy you can plug in on different lines."

Dupuis (without a point and a minus-3 in 10 playoff games) practiced yesterday as part of a fourth-line mix that also included right wings Miroslav Satan, Eric Godard, Petr Sykora and Craig Adams, who can play the pivot.

Up from the AHL

With Penguins AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton no longer in the Calder Cup playoffs, several players have been recalled to the NHL: Forwards Dustin Jeffrey, Christopher Minard and Jeff Taffe, defenseman Ben Lovejoy and goaltender John Curry. Each saw limited action in the NHL during the regular-season.

Fletcher going Wild?

Penguins assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher has emerged as the lead candidate in Minnesota to fill the Wild's vacant GM slot. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Fletcher was set for a second interview. He could soon receive a formal offer from the Wild.

The Penguins would not stand in Fletcher's way if he receives that offer. Penguins' leading in-house candidates to replace Fletcher as assistant GM would likely include current director of professional scouting Dan MacKinnon and director of hockey administration Jason Botterill.

FSN postgame

Cable network VERSUS holds exclusive broadcast rights for conference final games that will not be broadcast on NBC, leaving FSN Pittsburgh — the Penguins' local television partner — on the outside looking in for remaining playoff games. However, FSN Pittsburgh will air postgame shows featuring reporter Dan Potash with dressing-room interviews. The broadcast today will air following FSN Pittsburgh's showing of Pirates baseball.

Digits

2 — Times the Penguins have lost in the Eastern Conference final when dropping Game 1 of the series (1996, 2001). They've won the conference final once after dropping Game 1 (1991) and are 2-0 when taking the opening game (1992, 2008).

Quotable

Penguins center Sidney Crosby on handling in-series adversity:

"I look back to last year, and pretty much every game that we really played well, we found a way to win. There have been times in these playoffs we've played good hockey and haven't got breaks. That can be frustrating and force you to change things, but we've really stuck by what we need to do to play well and be successful. Going through those things builds confidence. You see the results of staying with it and moving on."

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