PITTSBURGH -- Flyers GM Paul Holmgren denied a report that goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has a hip problem and will be a game-time decision for Friday’s game in Pittsburgh.
After Friday’s morning skate, the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby said it doesn’t matter who is in the nets for the Flyers, who have a three-games-to-one series lead.
“We worry about us and having good habits,” Crosby said. “….With the position we’re in, desperation is all that takes over….It doesn’t matter” who they use. “We just have to makes sure we play a full game. That’s our focus.”
Game 5 is Friday night in Pittsburgh, and the Flyers can wrap up the series. Since the Consol Energy Center opened two years ago, the Flyers are 7-1 in the arena.
Crosby was asked if the Penguins’ 10-3 romp over the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday would carry into Friday.
“I think we showed our identity at different points (in the series), but we did it for a full game” on Wednesday, he said. “We stuck with things.”
The start will be Friday’s key, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.
“We need to be at our best. The building needs to be at its best,” he said. “We need to be at our best in first five minutes and go from there.”
Bylsma said the Pens need to stay out of the penalty box. The Flyers’ PP is a ridiculous 9 for 15 (60 percent) in the series.
“It’s a little bit more mental than anything,” Bylsma said. “We know what the Flyers have done all year and know what to expect, but they’ve found ways to get goals on rushes and coming out of scrambles and out of their setup. Our penalty kill is going to have to win us a game here and they’ve done that all year long.”
The Penguins dressed seven defensemen in Game 4, and Bylsma hinted he may do so again tonight. Defenseman Paul Martin, who sat out Game 4, will miss Friday’s game with an unspecified injury. That means rookie Brian Strait and Simon Despres will probably divide his minutes.
Read snubbed. Mat Read led NHL rookies with 24 goals, but he was bypassed when the league announced its three finalists for the Calder Trophy.
(more to come)