PITTSBURGH - Flyers left winger Dan Carcillo received a one-game suspension for a hit to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins center Max Talbot in Wednesday's first-round playoff game, the NHL announced yesterday.

Carcillo will sit out Game 2 tonight in Pittsburgh and will be replaced by Luca Sbisa, a defenseman who has played a few games at forward this season.

In the closing seconds of the 4-1 loss to the Penguins, Carcillo's stick appeared to hit Talbot in the head, although the Flyers winger said the replay was misleading. No penalty was called and Talbot was not hurt.

"I didn't hit him with my stick at all. I know I hit him with my hand," Carcillo said. ". . . My hand was over the stick."

In addition to Carcillo's suspension, Flyers coach John Stevens was fined $10,000 for the incident.

Carcillo said the league's hearing (in a conference call with NHL officials) was held because of "my reputation, maybe."

He led the league with 254 penalty minutes this season.

Before he took a face-off against Talbot, Carcillo said he was given a warning.

"The ref came up to me and said not to do anything, so it'd be pretty dumb for me to go out and butt-end someone in the back of the head, which I didn't do," he said. "I knew the refs were looking, and I just clipped him and he went down."

In 21 games with the Flyers, including the playoff opener, Carcillo has no goals.

General manager Paul Holmgren called Carcillo "a player that has to play on the edge, and sometimes he goes over the edge. But more often than not, I think he's been a pretty good player for us."

Timonen update. Kimmo Timonen, the heart and soul of the Flyers' defense, will play tonight, Stevens said.

In his first shift Wednesday, Timonen said he suffered a "charley horse" in his left leg after being checked by Chris Kunitz. Timonen labored the rest of the night but played 21 minutes, 32 seconds.

The defenseman did not skate during yesterday's practice.

Defenseman Randy Jones also missed practice because of a death in his family, but he will play tonight, the Flyers said.

Game 2 turnaround? The Flyers lost playoff openers against Washington and Montreal last year, then rebounded to win Game 2. They will try to do the same thing tonight.

They are not worried, Danny Briere said.

"There are things we need to improve, and our coaching staff is doing a good job of analyzing where we can improve and take advantage of some situations," he said.

Intensity issue. After the loss, winger Mike Knuble said the Flyers did not play with the intensity needed in the playoffs.

"I don't know if I agree 100 percent with that," Mike Richards said. "We were trying to be patient, and we didn't want to let our emotions start running around and have too much intensity, where you're out of the play and out of position a little bit. I thought we were pretty patient.

"The penalties we took were obviously emotional penalties in trying to make differences in the hockey game, but I think five-on-five, we didn't lack intensity. I thought we did a lot of good things."

At full strength, the Flyers were outscored, 3-0.

Numbers dept. The Flyers had 37 hits in Game 1, seven more than the Pens. The Penguins had a lopsided 38-21 advantage in face-offs. . . . The line of Claude Giroux, Briere, and Arron Asham was a combined minus-6. Defensive partners Braydon Coburn and Matt Carle were each at minus-2. . . . Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined to play 34:17, while Richards and Jeff Carter, who log much more shorthanded time than their Pittsburgh counterparts, combined for 40:17. . . . In the last two years, the Penguins have outscored the Flyers, 24-10, in six playoff meetings.

Breakaways. Darroll Powe was working with Briere and Giroux yesterday and probably will see time on that line tonight. That would put Asham on the fourth line with Jared Ross and Sbisa. . . . Since 2004, the Flyers have lost each of their last six playoff openers, the second-longest current streak in the NHL.

Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181 or scarchidi@phillynews.com.