Penguins notebook: Presidents' Trophy usually not a big topic

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A 3-2 shootout win Friday against Anaheim left the Penguins five points behind the Ducks in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

The Penguins, with 88 points, were tied with Chicago in third place, two points behind second-place St. Louis, in the overall NHL standings after Friday.

Some of the Penguins players have talked about striving to win the Presidents' Trophy for finishing first in the league because that carrot could help them hone their game for the playoffs.

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau doesn't put too much stock in the trophy.

"I've been there, where we've won the Presidents' Trophy and lost in the first round" of the playoffs, he said of the 2009-10 season when he was with Washington.

"So it really didn't mean too much. I think if you win the Presidents' Trophy, the only time you hear about it is if you win the [Stanley] Cup alongside of it."

Boudreau figures more attention is paid to the Presidents' Trophy winners that don't follow it up with a Stanley Cup.

Of the past 10 Presidents' Trophy winners, only two went on to claim the Cup -- Chicago a year ago and Detroit in 2008.

"It doesn't happen all the time, so we haven't talked about it at all," Boudreau said.

Rare feat

Chris Kunitz's goal Tuesday in a win at Nashville not only broke a six-game scoring drought and gave him 200 career goals, but it also thrust the Penguins winger into an exclusive club.

Kunitz and Martin St. Louis, long of Tampa Bay but now with the New York Rangers, are the only undrafted players to reach 200 goals in the NHL.

Told of that stat, Kunitz reacted in a way that reflected his unassuming nature.

"You just go about your day job, try to find a niche in the league, find somewhere to stay," he said. "It's a fun little stat, but I don't think it has any real resemblance to anything else."

Kunitz perked up a lot more when asked about his first NHL goal. It came Nov. 1, 2005 while he was with Anaheim and, like his 200th, was against Nasvhille. He had played 27 games over three seasons without scoring before he beat Tomas Vokoun, now with the Penguins.

"A little breakaway," Kunitz said. "It took a little while to be scored. A goal that kind of helped me stabilize myself in the league and prove I could play."

Road off day

The Penguins' schedule allowed them to have a day off in southern California Saturday before flying to Washington for an evening practice.

While goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's interest piqued a little when he heard that Disneyland was nearby, it seemed as if most players planned something less adventurous.

"The winter has been pretty harsh, so maybe we can enjoy a bit of sunshine and relax," said defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who missed the win Friday against the Ducks because of an unspecified injury.

"I think that's going to be the big thing -- just relax for a day. We do a lot of night trips, so we don't get to enjoy a city. So we'll just relax.

"I think guys will grab some fish tacos and stuff like that. Enjoy a different city. It will be nice to just soak in some Vitamin D."

Veteran winger Craig Adams was less enthused.

"For me, I would always prefer to go home just because I have a family, but if you're going to be on the road, days off are good," he said.


Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.

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