Bylsma not concerned with stars' scoring shortage

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma (top left) reacts to linesman Scott Driscoll (68) after a...

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma (top left) reacts to linesman Scott Driscoll (68) after a Penguins goal was disallowed for goal tender interference against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center on Mar 27, 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:09 PM ET

COLUMBUS — His stars have yet to score, but Dan Bylsma isn’t overly concerned.

At least, not yet.

Neither Sidney Crosby nor Evgeni Malkin found the back of the net for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first two games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bylsma, the Penguins’ coach, wouldn’t mind if that trend changed in Game 3 on Monday night at Nationwide Arena. The best-of-seven series is tied 1-1 and the building will be rocking for the Jackets’ third home playoff game in franchise history.

“I don’t think we need them to score to win a game but ... they know they need to be better in that regard,” Bylsma said. “We need to get it from them if we are going to be successful and win a round.”

James Neal also doesn’t have a goal. Crosby, Malkin and Neal combined for 86 goals during the regular season.

Going back to last spring, Crosby has gone seven playoff games without a goal. Malkin and Neal both are on six-game playoff skids.

Crosby has three assists in the series and Malkin two, but defencemen Matt Niskanen and Paul Martin, with four points each, are tied for the team scoring lead.

There will be a different look in the Penguins’ lineup, as forward Brian Gibbons, who had two goals in Game 2 before leaving with an upper-body injury, will not play.


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Jayson Megna and Taylor Pyatt took line rushes during the morning skate, while Chris Conner was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton following a conditioning stint.

Because of the number of penalties on both sides, Jackets coach Todd Richards didn’t use centre Brandon Dubinsky against Crosby as much in Game 2, but that could change as Richards has the last change at home.

“We will see how the game is going,” Richards said. “If I feel I will have to go with that matchup, I will go with it.”

The Jackets will have Nick Foligno, who has recovered from a foot injury, in the lineup and he will be on a line with R.J. Umberger and Artem Anisimov. Sitting out will be Corey Tropp.

Columbus defenceman Fedor Tyutin, who suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 2, will not play. Dalton Prout will take Tyutin’s spot and will be paired with Nikita Nikitin.

“When you miss time, you are always going to have a little bit of catchup,” said Foligno, who has not played since April 3. “But I feel great out there. I don’t feel like I am sucking wind too bad.

“I am just excited to be back and join the battle, looking forward to just being with the guys and really pushing for a Stanley Cup.”

 

terry.koshan@sunmedia.ca

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