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Game 2 (Flyers) – Postgame

Some observations following the Penguins’ 3-2 overtime victory in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal:

TRIB’S THREE STARS:

1 – G Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins: A 38-save performance with at least a half-dozen jaw-droppers.

2 – RW Bill Guerin, Penguins: Two goals, including an OT winner, were a nice way to end three-year playoff scoring drought.

3 – C Evgeni Malkin, Penguins: Don’t look now, but he already has five points in this series after recording three in Game 2.

DAN THE MAN: Interim coach Dan Bylsma appears to have some natural playoff-instincts. With the Penguins down 1-0 in the first period on Friday, he did not hesitate to pair Cs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin – the lone two 100-point scoring teammates during the regular season – on the same line.

Of course, former coach Michel Therrien used to pull that trick, but mostly in the third period. Bylsma’s willingness to unite the “MegaPowers” at any point during a game shows a sense of timing that takes many coaches years to develop at the NHL level.

KENNEDY… KENNEDY: RW Tyler Kennedy registered six shots, second only to Guerin’s eight. Kennedy scored his first playoff goal in Game 1 on Wednesday. If he keeps directing pucks at the cage as he has through two games – he’s taken 11 shots – Kennedy will have his second playoff goal before another playoff game is played in Pittsburgh.

HIT PARADE: The Penguins were credited with 50 hits in Game 2. The Flyers were credited with only 29. Talk amongst yourselves, but consider that the Penguins were only credited with one giveaway in Game 1.

I’ve been accused of relying too much on stats. If this keeps up, I won’t.

QUOTE AND A QUESTION: Flyers LW Scott Hartnell was not a fan of calls that he believes cost his club a victory. “It comes down to the end, and you hate to see the referees making calls to get it in overtime and then in overtime some calls,” he said, referencing C Jeff Carter’s hooking penalty in the third period that preceded Malkin’s tying power-play goal and the Flyers’ 3-on-5 disadvantage when Guerin scored in OT.

So, dear reader, I ask you: Are the Flyers being penalized unfairly by officials in this series?

Send your thoughts via e-mail.

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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