Penguins Notebook: There's no need to sing 3rd-period blues -- yet
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WASHINGTON -- Washington was 3-0-1 against the Penguins during the regular season and captured Game 1 of their second-round playoff series, so it's no surprise the Capitals have an edge in many statistical categories.
The most eye-catching of those advantages might be in third-period goals. Washington led the Penguins, 10-1, in those going into Game 2 at the Verizon Center last night.
Striking as that statistic is, however, it's not one to which the Penguins have attached much significance.
"The playoffs are totally different," right winger Tyler Kennedy said yesterday. "You're starting from square one. Teams play different in the playoffs. It doesn't matter."
There was only one third-period goal in Washington's 3-2 victory in Game 1 -- Tomas Fleischmann's winner at 1:46 -- and several Penguins noted that the overwhelming majority of Washington's margin was built before the postseason.
"They were 3-1 against us during the regular season, but I don't think we were playing exactly the best hockey," defenseman Rob Scuderi said. "Not to take anything away from them.
"If they outscore us in this series in the third period, maybe there's something to it. But, for right now, we're not worried about it."
Coach Dan Bylsma's pregame perspective on the Penguins' power play, which was 0 for 5 in the opener and entered Game 2 in a four-game goal-less drought:
"The breakout and the entry [into the attacking zone] and the set-up are things we need to do a better job of.
" Then we need to be methodical about the way we break [the penalty-killers] down and get pucks to the net."
A fire alarm went off at the Verizon Center yesterday as Penguins players were starting to leave the ice after the game-day skate.
Aside from the background noise generated by a whooping siren and a recorded announcement to leave the building immediately, however, no one paid much attention.
Players filed into the dressing room, and most went through the normal battery of post-skate interviews. Left winger Matt Cooke sat and calmly worked on a newspaper crossword puzzle.
"I didn't even know [there was an alarm]," he said. "We're in a concrete building."
Scuderi was aware of the alarm but, like this teammates, didn't react, let alone overreact, to it.
"Yeah, there seems to be a real panic," he deadpanned. "Everyone's in this tiny room. It bodes well for us, if it's real."
If there actually was a fire somewhere in the building, neither the smell nor the smoke ever made it to anywhere near the Penguins' quarters.
Left winger Chris Kunitz did not get a goal in his first seven games in these playoffs, but does not believe that reflects a lack of chemistry with his center, Sidney Crosby.
"It's something you definitely work on," Kunitz said. "You keep trying to figure each other out. I think it's been growing and growing, getting better every step of the way."
The Penguins did not make any lineup changes for Game 2. ... The Penguins were scheduled to fly home immediately after the game. ... Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, on the spectacular stick save Capitals goalie Simeon Varlamov made on Crosby late in the second period of Game 1: "It's always fun to watch, but it would have been better if it wasn't against our team."
First Published May 5, 2009 12:00 am