The look of a strong Evgeni Malkin in his return from a four-game absence provided the narrative for the Penguins, who lost at home to Buffalo on Tuesday.
Something not as big, but no less intriguing also happened in that game.
Tyler Kennedy did not play.
He was not injured, coach Dan Bylsma said.
The Stanley Cup playoffs will begin on May 1 for the Penguins, who cannot open April 30 because of The Black Keys concert at Consol Energy Center.
Two games remain in the regular season, and Kennedy will be a player to watch.
If he does not play, or plays only once, that may be an indication that he will begin the postseason as a reserve.
Kennedy, widely considered a personal favorite of Bylsma, was a regular for the 2008 and 2009 Cup Final clubs, and is a former 20-goal scorer.
However, the acquisitions of Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Jussi Jokinen have left him as a man without a top-12 spot among forwards when the Penguins are close to healthy. This is because Bylsma is likely to play veteran penalty-kill ace Craig Adams and Jokinen on the fourth line.
Beau Bennett played Tuesday against Buffalo.
There has been a suspicion that Bylsma would not turn to a rookie to open the playoffs.
That is why suspicious minds will be paying attention to the final two games of this regular season. Perhaps those will provide a tell as to what Bylsma favors for Game 1 when it comes to Bennett vs. Kennedy.
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Rob Rossi covers the Penguins and NHL for Trib Total Media and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He is ClearChannel’s Penguins Insider. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib.