PITTSBURGH - Some points about the Penguins-Flyers series:
n The Flyers don't seem to be bothered by much.
They get behind, but they don't give up and they certainly don't panic.
They work their back into the games, keeping their poise. Considering they have six rookies in the lineup most nights, that's especially impressive.
There's no deer in the headlights look from any of the Flyers. They stay cool and focus on the job ahead of them.
If they ever find a way to avoid those early deficits, look out.
They were trailing Game 1 by two goals with just about 11 minutes left in the third period. Instead of trying to "send a message" for the next game with big hits or fights, they focused on winning the game.
n The Flyers are staying under control.
A lot of people expected the Flyers to try to goad the Penguins into foolish penalties.
They haven't done that, and they've still been able to come back.
Evgeni Malkin didn't have an even strength point in the first two games. Why wake him up?
n The Penguins have carried over their poor defense.
It's not just the defensemen, although they've certainly contributed to the problems in the first three games.
The Penguins' systems emphasize strong team defense, and that's been absent.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has faced a month's worth of breakaways and odd-man rushes in three games.
The Flyers are ruling the neutral zone, forcing the Penguins into turnovers that lead to prime scoring opportunities. They're forechecking has created problems for the Pittsburgh defensemen.
The Penguins' defensive game was ragged in the final weeks of the regular season. They didn't seem to regard that as a big problem, apparently believing they could tighten things up in the playoffs.
It hasn't happened.
n That said, Fleury hasn't played exceptionally well.
He's not been at a spectacular level. Because of the sloppy play, the Penguins need miracles from their goaltender.
Fleury has been ordinary most of the time.
In fairness to him, the Flyers are strong around the net and they have an opportunistic offense.
Give them a chance, and they'll make the most of it.
The Flyers are playing a better team game than the Penguins are.
n Malkin has been missing.
He had two power play assists in Game 2, but the NHL's leading scorer has been largely absent as goals are being scored freely.
n Perhaps the Flyers' skill level has been underrated.
Think of the Flyers and the immediate associations are with black and orange uniforms and rough tactics.
But this is a different kind of team. They can play it tough, but they also have admirable skill.
They play with great energy, and they have the speed to turn neutral zone turnovers into excellent scoring chances.
Scott Hartnell's biggest contribution hasn't been distracting anyone with his yapping, it was the pass he made to set up the tying goal in Game 1.