Penguins Notebook: Godard could be in lineup
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Penguins interim coach Dan Bylsma wasn't ready yesterday to divulge his lineup composition for the first round of the playoffs, but he didn't rule out using enforcer Eric Godard against rough-and-tumble Philadelphia.
"Certainly the physicality of the game and who we're playing against would be a factor," Bylsma said after the team's first postseason practice at Mellon Arena.
Godard, who is in his first season with the Penguins, has played in seven NHL playoff games, five of them last season with Calgary when he had one assist and six penalty minutes.
"Honestly, just whatever I can do to help the team, whether that's sitting out for another guy in a different slot, whatever. It's all part of the role," said Godard, a 6-foot-4, 214-pound fourth-line winger who in 71 games this season had two goals, two assists and a team-high 171 penalty minutes, including fights against several league heavyweights, while averaging just 4:04 of ice time.
He split lineup time down the stretch with winger Craig Adams but in his final two games picked up one of his assists and played more than 13 minutes.
In the playoffs, the style of game often changes.
"There's usually not a lot of fights, but there are different parts where we can contribute, try and stir things up in the right way, being physical," Godard said.
Fitting in with the Penguins was easy, Godard said, and his teammates rewarded him with this season's players' player award.
"He's a great teammate," center and captain Sidney Crosby said. "What he does out there is something we all respect. It's not an easy job. A lot of people don't realize how tough that is.
"Obviously, too, he doesn't always get 10, 15 minutes like some guys average. When he's out there, he makes the most of his minutes."
The Flyers recalled defenseman Luca Sbisa and forward Jared Ross from the AHL Phantoms; they also loaned forward Andreas Nodl to the Phantoms.
Sbisa, 19, gives the Flyers insurance if Ryan Parent (strained groin) can't play. The Flyers expect Parent to be ready for tomorrow's playoff opener.
In 39 games with the Flyers this season, Sbisa recorded seven assists and 36 penalty minutes. He became the fourth-youngest Flyer and second youngest defenseman to play for the club at 18 years, 255 days.
The Flyers did not practice yesterday. ... Fans can once again watch Penguins playoff games, home and road, on an outdoor big screen near Gate 3 at Mellon Arena. No tents, grills or alcohol will be permitted. ... Center Mike Zigomanis, the lone injured Penguins player, hopes to get the OK to begin skating this week. He has not played since Dec. 3 and had shoulder surgery in January. ... Games 1, 2, 4 and, if necessary, 5 and 7 are scheduled to be shown on FSN Pittsburgh. The Versus broadcasts of those games will be blacked out locally. Games 3 and 6 are scheduled for national NBC broadcasts.
First Published April 14, 2009 12:00 am