CRANBERRY, Pa. -- If there is such a thing as a Stanley Cup hangover, the Pittsburgh Penguins are trying to avoid it. So they came up with their equivalent of taking an aspirin before the party.
The club talked a lot about taking a certain approach -- enjoy all the ceremonies and celebrations, including the banner-raising Thursday before their season opener at PPG Paints Arena, then make a point of turning the page to the new season.
So far, so good.
The Penguins beat Washington 3-2 in a shootout in the season opener, and felt back in the swing of things by practice on Friday as they prepared for a visit from the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
"From training camp, to the visit to the White House, to getting our rings, to (Thursday) night, when Sid (Crosby) took the Cup on the ice, to the fans, we did all that," goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the winner Thursday after making 39 saves and stopping Alex Ovechkin's shootout attempt to wrap up the win, said Friday. "After that, today, it feels like a new season. We're ready to start over, start fresh and get back into the routine."
With fellow goalie Matt Murray still recovering from a thumb injury, Fleury figures to get the start again.
It's not clear who will start for the Ducks.
John Gibson, a native of Whitehall, Pa., in suburban Pittsburgh, stopped 20 of 24 shots Thursday in a 4-2 loss at Dallas to open the season. The other option is Jonathan Bernier, who had a strong preseason.
"They had good chances," Gibson said of the Stars, according to the Los Angeles times. "Some nights I make those saves, and (Thursday) I didn't seem to make them."
Anaheim will be looking for its first win under new and former coach Randy Carlyle. The Ducks were 0-for-5 on the power play against Dallas, and Carlyle did not like his team's defensive effort in front of Gibson.
"How can you allow a team to score three from the top of the crease? That's blowing coverage and that's missed coverage, and those are assignments we will definitely recover from," Carlyle told the Times. "We'll make sure those things don't happen again."
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, almost surely will be playing without Crosby, their captain and the Conn Smythe Trophy winner who is out with a concussion.
The team is happy with his progress -- which allowed him to skate, in uniform, onto the ice with the Cup during Thursday night's pregame banner-raising ceremony -- but Crosby skated separately from the team Friday.
The Penguins' other star center, Evgeni Malkin, had a goal and assist and added a shootout goal on Thursday.
"Obviously, 'Geno' is an important guy for us," winger Chris Kunitz said. "(Thursday) night he showed he can change a game. He and (defenseman Kris Letang) are two guys out team needs to win some games while Sid's out.
"Most teams don't have that luxury. We're very fortunate."
And, if the Penguins can help it, they are living very much in the present rather than enjoying the vapors of that Stanley Cup win.
Playing a game 48 hours after their opener, and moving from a familiar rival to a Western Conference team that requires some extra homework, could help.
"The first shift (Thursday), when guys are coming at you, that's when you know it's time for the games," Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin said. "Preseason games are fun -- they're good to get back in the swing of things -- but that was a real game, especially against a good team like Washington.
"It's weird to start off with such a familiar team as Washington. Then I don't even remember the last time we played Anaheim."