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Insider Only Post-Game Notes: Sykora non-existent in series opener, Adams provides physical presence

The struggles continue for Petr Sykora who only has 6 points in his last 26 games. Analysis on Craig Adams performance, post-game reports and the latest rumblings
Sykora a non-factor in series opener
Petr Sykora took a hard hit on the right boards in the Penguins defensive zone on his second shift of the game, and I knew at that point, Sykora was going to be non-factor in the series opener.
Sykora saw

14:02 of ice time, recorded one shot on goal and for the most part was non-existent, just like he’s been over the past 26 games. Sykora is very one dimensional and he doesn’t do the little things like winning battles in the corners, driving to the net to make up for scoring drought.
This is going to be a physical series and I don’t see Sykora getting out of this slump anytime soon.
If he continues to struggle, Bylsma won’t be shy about putting Satan into the lineup
Kunitz sets the tone early
Chris Kunitz did not record a point in game 1 but he set the tone early with a hit on Kimmo Timonen. Kunitz had four hits on the night and did a superb job at possessing the puck in the corners
Adams provides physical presence
Craig Adams got the nod over Eric Godard in the lineup and he didn‚Äôt disappoint. Adams was tied with Brooks Orpik with a team high 5 hits and with Adams in the lineup — Dupuis ‚Äì Talbot ‚Äì Adams are able to the exploit the Flyers 4th line which is over-matched.
Kennedy prospering under Dan Bylsma
Tyler Kennedy scored the Penguins game winning goal and his offensive game has jumped to another level in the Penguins up-tempo system
Kennedy, 22, has not reached his potential and is seen by some in the organization as a potential top 6 forward next season.
Playing at the level he is now, Kennedy is no longer viewed as an energy player and will be a key player to the Penguins making a deep run this spring.
Tidbits
The Penguins dominated the Flyers in the puck possession department and it starts at the face-off circle. The Penguins won 38 face-offs, losing 21
The Penguins talked about setting the tone early and making an opening statement. This series is a long-way from being over but the Flyers are searching for answers and the players in the room seemed to be in disarray.
The Penguins were very disciplined, finished their checks and got under the Flyers skin.
The Flyers are looking to Jeff Carter and Mike Richards to get the Flyers back in the series and go back to Philadelphia for game 3 tied 1-1
The way Flyers talked after the game I would be very concerned if I was a Flyers fan. They were looking for more excuses, than just admitting they need to play better.
Regardless, I expect a better team to show up on Friday
Last 15 games — The Penguins are 13-2-0 against the Flyers at Mellon Arena

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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