Over the past couple of seasons, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma liked to say his team was used to adapting to varying start times.
Now that the team has advanced as far as the Eastern Conference final, it has been drawing an 8 p.m. slot for television purposes.
"We've played at a lot of different times; 8 o'clock is probably not one of them," Bylsma said. "We've had the noon, the 1, the 3, the 5 a lot."
The Penguins primarily play at 7 or 7:30 during the season and, with game-day skates still at their normal times, the later start builds extra time into the afternoon.
"I think it's easier to adjust to one more hour in your day than one less," Bylsma said.
Winger Pascal Dupuis dismissed the later starts as inconsequential.
"You just adjust for a half-hour," he said. "That's it. Doesn't matter."
Even center Sidney Crosby, known to be rigid in his routine, hasn't been thrown off.
"It's not a big deal," he said. "It's not like it 9 or 9:30 or something like that, totally crazy."
Opinions are free
After the 3-0 loss against Boston in Game 1 of this series Saturday, several Penguins suggested the officiating in that game was inconsistent. Most prominent among them was Crosby.
He said there was no backlash for any of the criticism.
"I don't think anyone blamed the officiating for why we lost," he said. "We lost for other reasons. It wasn't the officiating. We were asked about a couple of penalties, and we gave an honest answer. We're not always going to agree on what's a penalty and what's not.
"I don't think there was anything wrong with what anybody said. I think we are free to give our opinion."
Kunitz hit by camera
Things can get violent in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and not only on the ice.
Penguins left winger Chris Kunitz was reminded of that after the game-day skate Monday, when he was smacked in the head by a camera wielded by an unidentified TV worker exiting a scrum at the nearby locker of teammate James Neal.
The blow wasn't enough to prevent Kunitz from playing in Game 2, but it prompted Penguins director of communications Jennifer Bullano to raise the issue to media assembled for Bylsma's news conference a short time later.
"We won't tolerate that, so you have to be careful in there," she said.
Bylsma opened his session with reporters by joking that "the player did come out of the quiet room [for concussion evaluation] fine."
Bruins rookie defenseman Torey Krug made a name for himself with four goals in five games in the second round against the New York Rangers. He had no goals in Game 1 against the Penguins, and maybe there's an explanation, at least for those who are superstitious.
In the pregame warmup for Game 1, Krug broke the stick he used to rack up those goals against the Rangers, a Reebok 20K model, while taking a one-timer.
"It was getting to the end [of its life]," said Krug, apparently not bound by superstition. "It was about the right time, I guess."
Still, he gave it to an equipment assistant.
"I'm going to try to keep it," he said.
Bartkowski sits again
If getting scratched from the Bruins' lineup for Game 1 stung a bit, Mt. Lebanon native Matt Bartkowski handled it like a pro, said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
"He's been great especially in this unique situation where he's at home," Julien said of his rookie defenseman. "There's no doubt it's got to hurt a little bit. But he's able to put priorities first and he's thinking about our team right now."
Bartkowski was scratched for Game 1 because defenseman Andrew Ference returned to the lineup.
"Matt has grown immensely on and off the ice. His approach right now, all he wants is for our team to win," said Julien. "If he's not in, he's going to be supportive of his teammates. At the same time, he's going to be ready when his name gets called."
Bartkowski also was scratched for Game 2 Monday night.
Prospects tournament set
The Penguins will participate in a prospects tournament Sept. 5-8 in London, Ontario, along with Toronto, Ottawa and Chicago.
The tournament had become a staple of the Penguins' late-summer calendar, but was not held in 2012 because of the NHL lockout. The Penguins' schedule: Sept. 5 -- Ottawa, 2 p.m.; Sept. 6 -- no game; Sept. 7 -- Toronto, 7 p.m.; Sept. 8 -- Chicago, 2 p.m.
Another goalie joins team
The Penguins recalled goaltender Jeff Zatkoff from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which has been ousted from the American Hockey League playoffs. Zatkoff, 25, was voted his team's MVP during the regular season after posting a 26-20 record in 49 games in his first year in the Penguins' organization. He finished the regular season with a league-best 1.93 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage, with five shutouts.
Seth Rorabaugh of the Post-Gazette contributed. Shelly Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1721 and Twitter. @pgshelly Jenn Menendez: email@example.com and Twitter @jennmenendez. Dave Molinari: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @MolinariPG. First Published June 4, 2013 4:15 AM