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NHL on NBCSN: Penguins look to avoid bad habits vs Devils

Apr 25, 2013, 8:05 AM EDT

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 09: Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins defends against Travis Zajac #19 of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 9, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Getty Images

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the New Jersey Devils host the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Prudential Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

The Penguins got Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang back on Tuesday and they assisted on a Jarome Iginla power-play goal. All the same, Pittsburgh suffered a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

That defeat won’t change the fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins will enter the playoffs with the number one seed, but how they played was a bit troubling.

“I don’t think … we played our best,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Especially the first half of the game, the way we managed the puck.

“There were a lot of turnovers, a lot of opportunities for their team to go the other way with speed, and we saw them do that.

“That’s not characteristic of how we want to play, how we want to get into a game.”

Obviously it’s just one game, but the last thing the Penguins want to do right now is develop bad habits going into the playoffs. With that in mind, they’ll be looking to bounce back tonight against the Devils.

Of course, the Penguins would also like to get healthy for the start of the postseason. With that in mind, it must have been particularly frustrating on Tuesday when they lost Brooks Orpik to a lower-body injury.

The good news is that the Pittsburgh Penguins should get Paul Martin back soon.

“He’s continuing to progress,” said Bylsma in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report. “He returned to full team practice. … Hopefully, he’ll be able to do that a few more times remaining this week, and it’s a potential he could return to play in one of these games.”

Getting Martin back would be huge, but regardless the Penguins will be looking to play better tonight against a Devils team that wants to finish on a high note before beginning their long offseason.

Probable goaltenders: PIT – Marc-Andre Fleury (22-7-0, 2.35 GAA, .917 SV%) | NJD – Johan Hedberg (5-9-3, 2.73 GAA, .886 SV%)

Top scorers: PIT – Sidney Crosby (15-41-56, 36 GP) | NJD – Patrik Elias (14-20-34, 46 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Pittsburgh – Forwards: James Neal (concussion), Crosby (jaw) Defensemen: Orpik (lower body), Martin (thumb)
New Jersey – Defensemen: Bryce Salvador (wrist)

  1. theageofquarrel - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!!! Everybody panic!!!!!

    • Kristenaux - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      Would you rather they ignore the things they need to iron out and continue to make mistakes? And lose? Then you’d be saying they should have looked at these things *before* the game…right?

  2. pdmjr - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    They played a little pond hockey with the Sabres, no hitting. That’s a good thing because they don’t need any injuries. Look for quick shifts tonight and not much else. Martin coming back will help. Orps out til playoffs and Crosby should be ready Wednesday. Finally they will have their full complement of players.

  3. laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    “The good news is that the Pittsburgh Penguins should get Paul Martin back soon.”

    LOL….if that’s good news…..uh….yeah

    • bgrillz - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      He was having an outstanding season for the Pens before his injury. Way to get noticed tho bro…

      • pens5829 - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        laxman1944′s just another troll who’s mamma stopped breast feeding him when he turned 18 and now he’s still in need of constant attention.

    • miketoasty - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Probably the best player on the Pens roster this year behind Crosby and Letang.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Well he had 21 points in 33 games and was a +12………In a regular 82 game season that would be 52 points.

      He had been a disappointment in previous seasons but his play this year has been stellar. I don’t think there is a playoff team out there that wouldn’t welcome back a d-man that was on pace for 52 points.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:16 AM

      Well here’s proof that laxman here doesn’t actually watch games outside of his own market. Martin was having a great season in all three zones. One of the top 5-10 D men going until he got hurt.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        Ah…..The Zealots are swimming in the juice today…..enjoy ladies……now eveybody….at the same time…….Thumbs down my comment…….good girls……

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        laxman – the formula is getting pretty tired here bud.

        Step #1: Make a baseless assertion about the Penguins
        Step #2: When getting killed for said assertion, make a comment regarding the Pens fans manhood.
        Step #3: ???????
        Step #4: Profit!

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        Oh come on now…..ok….i’ll work on some new material Steel…..message recieved my friend. :)

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        I don’t particularly care either way what you say – I just can never resist an opportunity to reference the Underpants Gnomes.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        Man…..underpants gnomes….well thought out ther big fella…..sigh…such a left handed hammer…..go back to the mill.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        Underpants gnomes is a reference to a television show – not a slight against you. Telling me to go “back to the mill” sounds like an awfully condescending thing to say, however.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        “I don’t particularly care either way what you say –”

    • Kristenaux - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      Um…you have been watching the games I presume? Martin has been a force for the team in case you missed that part?

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        Not televised where I live……

      • jpelle82 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        centerice package was only 49.99 for the whole season this year, get with the program laxman. i used to spend that per night in a sports bar to watch the pens when i was a young man. dont know which my wife prefers more, absent nights of drinking at the bar or the commandeering of the big screen every night at home. i know which one my wallet prefers though :)

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        kids….homework….baseball….Lacrosse practice’s…..barely enough time to catch some of Flyers (not much to see there i’m afraid)…..

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        I don’t know whats worse – that you openly admit to not watching even your own teams games but still take opportunities to swipe other teams, or the fact that you have children and still act like a juvenile.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        I watch plenty of games you putz….the kids are in spring sports a$$hole.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        “kids….homework….baseball….Lacrosse practice’s…..barely enough time to catch some of Flyers”

        “barely enough time to catch some of the Flyers”

        So you watch plenty of games or you barely have enough time to catch some of the games?

      • jpelle82 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        i coach little league and end up dvr’ing quite a few games while i’m at the ball field or en route home. well worth the money though, i actually prefer dvr because i can ff through commercials and intermissions, i can watch a whole game in an hour and a half instead of 2 and a half. usually watching it an hour or so after its ended, when the kids are asleep…hardest part is not glancing at sports tickers or hearing the outcome from others before i get to see it. my old lady makes the kids do their homework as soon as they get home from school too…makes the evening less chaotic between dinner, practice/games, showers, bedtime, its nice to have the homework out of the way.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        ok….Steel..listen real good…..ok…….I watch plenty of games through the fall and winter and i’ll just leave it at that. In the spring other more important things come up. My world does not revovle around NHL hockey. Boy you are a piece of work……now feel free to add another smart ass comment. Have a nice day.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Good point jpelle…..I have dvr’d (just wish it had more memory….it’s usally at 85%) but like you say, it’s hard to put youself on a media blackout until you get home and the kids to bed and finally sit down and watch……have a good one. :)

  4. ironcity6pak - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Hate to say it but the Pens play better without Malkin in the lineup.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Hate to say it but any team that had won 7 straight games with a virtual all star team resting on the sidelines, would stand around and watch when a guy of Malkin’s caliber sets foot on the same ice.

    • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      You speak the truth, Malkin is soft and if things don’t go his way he truns to a cheap shot artist and goes into a shell.

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:16 AM

        haha trolls are funny and sad at the same time. Can’t imagine people actually get kicks out of seeing others get frustrated. Its better to just laugh and ignore people like this.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Truth hurts……I know…..

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        haha the only truth that hurts is that your favorite team is probably already eliminated from the playoffs. Is that the truth you speak of?

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        That is the truth…but my team simply is not good enough. Takes some time and good fortune to build a good club…..mine needs work in several areas.

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        Happens to everyone. Good news is that this years draft is really deep.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        It is deep….just hope they draft well…….you listening Holmer? Just sick of the goal tending thing….especially as it seems Bobrovsky looks like a keeper but we kept the wrong one….it ain’t easy being black and orange.

    • Kristenaux - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      Wha…? Oh never mind…huh!

  5. ahhhyeah - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    I think they’ll be OK…

  6. myspaceyourface - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    If Malkin moves his feet and stops turning the puck over we will be just fine.

  7. erbaker67 - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Im glad the Penguins are 22-3? against teams that currently sit in the playoffs. I would be more worried if the Sabres were the 8th seed (1-2 against the Sabres). I agree though that the Penguins cant have bad habits and guys shouldnt be taking any game lightly. I believe Orpik said that its not a switch, the guys need to be playing their game, now, tomorrow, and into the playoffs.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      seems like they’ve played down to their opponents a lot this year…losing to fl, buf, wpg, njd, car all games where they didnt seem to care or take care of the puck. the only bottom feeder team they got up to play this year was washington and they wiped the floor with them, unfortunately all three of those games were before the caps and ovechkin decided to flip the switch so there’s no real barometer there. should be interesting late round matchup i’m really hoping for.

  8. sjsharks66 - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Whenever Malkin returns from an injury his game is not very good. After that first game it seems like his nerves have calmed down and he plays much better.

  9. c1md6 - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Has anyone heard anything on Crosby? The playoffs are less than a week away and I still haven’t heard any concrete evidence he will be back…

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