April 7, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) receives congratulations from Penguins left wing Steve MacIntyre (33) as Malkin returns to the bench after scoring his 50th goal of the season against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Pens Prep For Flyers Part II


April 7, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) receives congratulations from Penguins left wing Steve MacIntyre (33) as Malkin returns to the bench after scoring his 50th goal of the season against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

As the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to prepare for the Game Wednesday, Philly is preparing also and at this point,  it looks as though their best player will be on the ice for the game Wednesday.    

Giroux took a huge hit against the Pens and was out for some time.     He was instructed by his coach, not to talk about if he will be able to play on Wednesday though he was on the ice both yesterday and today.      These were the lines as they practiced the last couple of days.

Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr
Schenn-Briere-Voracek
Talbot-Couturier-Rinaldo
Wellwood-Reed-Simmonds

Coby-Grossmann
Carle-Timmonen
Courdon-Lilja
Kubina-(Shelley)

The Flyers team and coaching staff had been doing a lot of talking about the Pens in week leading up to the playoffs, then things had kind of gone silent.     Don’t think for a second that that will continue, especially on the ice.      The Flyers are going to try to get under the Pens skin at all cost.     That plan has worked to perfection throughout the season, except of course the last game but that game meant nothing to the Flyers.      I think it will be important for them to key on a player such as Evgeni Malkin, whom has shown an inability to control his  pre and post whistle extracurricular activity.       From the Pens stand point, Malkin can not get involved with this activity in the series.

The Penguins will need all hands on deck in this series.     They can not  win without a group effort from the entire team, especially the stars.      As for the Penguins in practice today, Niskanen was the only one not on the ice for the practice and is considered to be a game time decision.     Matt Cooke was back from his Maintenance day and was also on the ice.     The Pens lines were the same as they were yesterday, and the Power Play units shook out this way.

Letang, Crosby, Malkin, Neal and Kunitz on the first unit and the second power play unit will consist of  Martin, Sullivan, Cooke, Staal and Kennedy. (Sam Kasan Pens Report) The Penguins power play unit will need to be better than  it was last year though all signs are pointing that it will be.      The struggles are not the same as they were last season.    They are playing better, and you can contribute that more than likely to the overall health of the team, especially the teams biggest stars.

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