Pens' Dynamic Duo kept apart

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

DETROIT -- It's doubtful the Penguins' Dynamic Duo will play together full-time under Dan Bylsma.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, with 15 and 14 playoff goals respectively, have surpassed the combined mark of 28 set by Vancouver's Pavel Bure (16) and Trevor Linden (12) in 1994.

And it was Malkin who set up Crosby for a pivotal goal on a two-on-one in the second period of Thursday's 4-2 victory in Game 4.

Still, the Penguins coach said it would be difficult to keep them together all the time.

"Why don't I do it more often? Sometimes their focus when they're together can be all on offence. That can be a distraction to playing the right way," said Bylsma. "Our team is very strong when we can have three centres like that. You know, with Sidney and (Malkin) and Jordan (Staal) coming down the pipe, it's tough to handle.

"If they were on the same line and they put one checking line out against them, then they have their best checkers against our forwards and they'd be chasing us around all night long. When I put them together, sometimes it's a need for more offence. We've done it a couple of times in this series, and fortunately in this situation you can see what the two can do. And sometimes it works and the coach looks good, and sometimes it doesn't work and you guys don't write about it, which is kind."

Off the glass

The Penguins aren't focusing on the return of Detroit C Pavel Datsyuk. "We haven't really thought about it too much," said D Brooks Orpik. "Even if he does come back, we all have a lot of respect for the player he is. But that being said, I don't know how effective he's going to be if he comes back and he's playing at whatever level he's playing at ... Throughout the playoffs, we've just been more concerned with the way we're playing."


Photos