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Eastern final – post-game (Game 1)

A few post-game notes following the Penguins’ 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final:


1. G Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins: So far, he’s been the best goalie in either conference final.

2. D Philippe Boucher, Penguins: Putting his best foot forward (pun SOOO intended) in the playoffs.

3. RW Miroslav Satan, Penguins: Miro, Miro on the wall; who has five points in his past six games?


*DON’T LOOK NOW, BUT: Penguins C Evgeni Malkin – you know, the guy so many folks think can play so much better – has recorded 21 points in 14 playoff games. He totaled 22 points in 20 playoff games in 2008.

Yep, ‘Geno’ is rotten to the core lately with nine points in a four-game streak.

If we’re going to credit C Sidney Crosby for recording points even when he’s not at his best – as many have after he finished third in scoring during the regular season despite a slow start (by his standard) – shouldn’t we also praise Malkin for doing the same?

Crosby is the playoff MVP favorite right now; but would anybody be shocked if Malkin finished atop the playoff scoring list presuming the Penguins reach the Cup final?

STATISTIC THAT SHOULD INTEREST YINZ: The Penguins are 5-3 over the past three playoff season in series openers. They’ve not lost a series they started with a victory.


“For a lot of the night, we were looking for a better option. They did a good job getting in the shooting lanes, taking away the first option. We were slow moving the puck to open up other lanes.”

— Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice, after Game 1

I’m starting to wonder if the Penguins’ team defense has hit a peak-level. Considering the limited chances – by his standard, anyway – afford Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin over the final five games of a second-round series and taking into account Maurice’s assessment from Game 1, is it possible that Penguins coach Dan Bylsma’s originally stated-theory – that the best defense is a puck-controlling offense (not a direct quote) – is rounding into measurable form before our very eyes?

Yinz know the drill, dear readers. 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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