Friday, April 13, 2012
Kubina returning? "C" a difference for Pens
Look for veteran defenseman Pavel Kubina to get back into the Flyers' lineup after being a healthy scratch in Game 1. Marc-Andre Bourdon is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury and his equipment was unused Friday morning. Kubina was brought in from Tampa at the trade deadline to add depth to a Flyers blue line that has been without captain Chris Pronger since before the new year.
“It’s always hard when you’re not playing. But I do understand it,” Kubina said Friday morning.
“Hopefully, I can help the team in the future,” he said.
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen has played almost 1,000 NHL games and said he cannot recall ever winning the first two games of a playoff series on the road. But he said he has always enjoyed starting the playoffs on the road because there are fewer distractions and less pressure.
As for coming up with a second straight win to start this series, Timonen said it’s obvious the Flyers cannot replicate their start in Game 1 when they were down 3-0 after the first period.
“We all know what was the reason we had a bad start,” Timonen said.
The Penguins, meanwhile, liked their start in Game 1 but weren’t happy with allowing the Flyers to dictate the terms in the second and third periods and then win 4-3 on Jakub Voracek's overtime goal.
“We know we have better and we know what our game looks like,” Penguins center Sidney Crosby said.
Many of the Penguins were wearing a special T-shirt Friday that, among other things, featured a stylized captain’s "C." The "C" harkens back to a time earlier in the season when there was a local story that the Penguins wanted to name an interim captain while longtime captain Sidney Crosby rehabbed from concussion issues. The team denied that such a discussion took place, and in solidarity, the players showed up on the ice one day wearing a "C" taped to their practice jerseys.
That marked a turning point in the season for the Penguins, who ended a brief slump and began a period of winning.
It was a time when the team became closer, James Neal said Friday after an optional morning skate.
“That’s why we’re wearing it [now],” Neal said.
Coach Dan Bylsma noted that there were a couple of different items on the shirts that were made a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s not a today thing, but that’s a playoff T-shirt they made and there’s more than one or two things on the shirt,” Bylsma said.
“We’ve got a few things that have gone on throughout the year, little symbols on the T-shirt,” Crosby added.