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LinksLog: Fruit of Jussi, Geno’s focus, Iginla as Fedotenko, and a reason to buy the paper.

The Stanley Cup playoffs are off and running, and the marathon, two-month NHL tournament has a great start Tuesday with overtime wins by Chicago and St. Louis. (Anaheim and Detroit faced off, too; but somebody had to get a decent night’s sleep because the club he covers opens it series Wednesday.)

The Penguins, top seeded in the East, face the New York Islanders in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series (best of seven) at Consol Energy Center. Given their very recent history – winning streaks of 15 and seven games in the final 30 – and their kind-of recent playoff history – three straight losses to lower-seeded opponents – it is tough to figure a Game 1 for which a Penguins squad faced more pressure than this one against the upstart Islanders.

A look at the #TribHKY coverage leading into Game the First:

= Josh Yohe reports that these Penguins are prepared to play the playoff opener with their Captain and their Conscience:

= Joining our coverage for the playoffs is veteran scribe Jerry DiPaola, who come to think of it, is kind of like Trib Sports’ Conscience. He reports on Penguins coach Dan Bylsma making use of extra time before Game 1:

= Back for the postseason is the off-day “NHL Insider,” which will attempt to dig deep to explain what is really happening with subjects pertinent to the series. This one looks at Jarome Iginla possibly playing the off wing:

= Evgeni Malkin is looking at these playoffs as a re-do, and he looked serious about that at practice:

= Columnist Dejan Kovacevic chips in with a well written scene setting piece that has a little bit of something for every Pittsburgh hockey fan:

= Finally, do pick up a print product on Wednesday, because Trib editor Mike Palm has compiled a must-see look at every opening-round series in Penguins history. This specialty page is a keeper, kids.



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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