Penguins Notebook: Engelland falls, but teammates pick him up

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PHILADELPHIA -- Deryk Engelland could not explain it.

And he did not bother trying to excuse it.

It was, he said, just something that happened.

Engelland, a Penguins defenseman, was not sure why and was thrilled that it did not matter.

The Penguins had just scored two short-handed goals in a span of 103 seconds to take a 3-2 lead against Philadelphia Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center when Engelland carried the puck in front of his net, then fell to the ice and lost control of it.

"I fell," Engelland said. "That's about it. I fell. ... There's not much else to say."

He added that he was not sure if he hit a rut, if the ice gave way under him or if he simply lost an edge. Whatever the case, Flyers forward Eric Wellwood swept in and knocked the puck past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

"It happened so quickly that I didn't know it went in until I started to curl back to get back on the forecheck," Wellwood said.

Under the circumstances, that was a potentially deflating -- if not devastating -- goal for the Penguins to give up.

Didn't work out that way, however, as Dustin Jeffrey put them in front to stay on the first shift of the third period, and Pascal Dupuis and James Neal added insurance goals in what became a 6-4 Penguins victory.

Which is why the Penguins were able to shrug off Engelland's gaffe later.

"I think it was the young man's first goal," coach Dan Bylsma said. "So I think it's one we won't forget. Nor will he."

Bylsma likes these start times

The Penguins, who will visit Buffalo at 12:38 p.m. today, are in the midst of their 12th set of games on consecutive days this season.

Unlike most of the previous ones, however, both of these will be played in the afternoon, and Bylsma said that makes a difference.

A positive one, from his perspective.

"Preparation-wise, [it affects things] a little bit," he said. "We go through our scout meetings the day before [an afternoon game].

"I think it's more advantageous to play at noon or 1 or 2 than playing two games that are 7 o'clock at night and travel after the game. Get into bed much later and not get as much rest.

"I like the back-to-back games with one or two of them being at 12:30, 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock."

Jagr's shot still menacing

Flyers winger Jaromir Jagr scored two goals in 18 seconds in the first period, giving him his 117th two-goal game in the NHL.

Beyond that, he was not much of a factor -- not that the impact of two goals should be discounted, obviously -- but Jagr, 40, didn't look like a guy who had scored just once in his previous 16 games, either.

"He still has a good shot," said goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who was beaten twice by Jagr from inside the right circle.

"It's deceiving. You have to keep an eye on him."

Asham returns; no problems

Right winger Arron Asham returned to the Penguins lineup after missing the previous 13 because of a concussion and reported no problems.

He was used somewhat sparingly, logging just nine minutes, 27 minutes of ice time and did not record a hit.

"I wasn't out there too much, but it was a good first game to get back," Asham said.

"Playing in a game like this, a playoff-style game, that was fun."

Tip-ins

The Penguins have won six consecutive games in Philadelphia when getting the first goal of the game. ... Matt Cooke's three-on-five goal was the first allowed by Philadelphia since March 19, 1993, when Benoit Hogue of the New York Islanders got one into an empty net. ... Forward Cal O'Reilly and defenseman Ben Lovejoy were the Penguins healthy scratches. ... Philadelphia has a 4-10-1 record in afternoon games.


Dave Molinari: Dmolinari@Post-Gazette.com or Twitter @MolinariPG.


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