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Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 1:37 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers excited about chance to take 3-1 series lead

PITTSBURGH -- The New York Rangers will try to do something Wednesday that they haven't been all that good at in recent years -- take a 3-1 lead in a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series.

The Rangers lead the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in the Eastern Conference First Round heading into Game 4 on Wednesday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 2, ROOT, MSG).

New York has had the opportunity to go up 3-1 in five playoff series going back to the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals; it has lost Game 4 four times. The one time the Rangers won Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead was last year in the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.21.2015 / 4:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Penguins rue inefficient line changes that led to goals

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins came into the Eastern Conference First Round knowing the New York Rangers are arguably the fastest team in the NHL and thrive on making quick passes out of the neutral zone to spring their forwards into odd-man rush situations.

The problem through three games is the Penguins have helped the Rangers do that with the occasional ill-timed and slow line change.

New York has scored two of its seven goals in the best-of-7 series on breakaways that are a result of those types of line changes, including left wing Carl Hagelin's goal that gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in Game 3 on Monday. They won the game 2-1 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Center Derek Stepan gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in Game 2 after right wing J.T. Miller hit him with a cross-ice pass through the neutral zone as the Penguins were changing.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.21.2015 / 3:26 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers want to maintain aggressive approach

PITTSBURGH -- The New York Rangers reward for taking a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday was a day off Tuesday. The Rangers canceled their full team practice and instead had only a handful of players skate at Consol Energy Center.

Defenseman Kevin Klein, who hasn't played since sustaining a broken arm on March 11, was among them. Klein also was on the ice for the morning skate Monday; it was his first time practicing with the team since he got hurt.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault had no update on Klein's condition, but he didn't rule out his return for Game 4 of the best-of-7 series on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 2, ROOT, MSG).

Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 11:30 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Penguins hope reuniting line gets Malkin going

PITTSBURGH -- As part of Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Johnston's line juggling throughout Game 3 on Monday, he went back to a combination that worked well during the regular season with the hopes of igniting center Evgeni Malkin's stagnant offensive game.

There were signs that it could have worked if they had more time.

Johnston put Blake Comeau with Malkin and David Perron to start the third period, and that line was on the ice for nine of Pittsburgh's 30 shot attempts, including three shots on goal. More than the shot production, they played in the offensive zone on almost every shift in the third, and Malkin looked quicker than he has all series.


Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 1:51 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers' Yandle likely to play Game 3 vs. Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- Despite missing the morning skate Monday because he was sick, New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle is expected to play against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series (7 p.m. ET: NBCSN, CBC, TVA, ROOT, MSG).

The best-of-7 series is tied, 1-1.

"He just wasn't feeling well this morning, he'll be in the lineup tonight," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of Yandle. "He's taking fluids and should be good to go."

Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein skated with the team for the first time since March 11, when he broke his left arm when blocking a shot from Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin.

Klein is not expected to play in Game 3, but his return to full practice was a positive sign for his availability later in the series against the Penguins.

Posted On Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 2:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers focused on net presence at both ends of ice

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has been talking about net presence since late Thursday night, shortly after his team took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He's had two reasons to make net presence his central point of emphasis:

Vigneault thinks the Penguins had too much of it in Game 1, and he wants the Rangers to generate more of it in Game 2 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Posted On Friday, 04.17.2015 / 2:32 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers' Girardi practices, says he's fine for Game 2

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- What was an injury scare Thursday for the New York Rangers turned out to be nothing Friday, when defenseman Dan Girardi practiced and said he is good to go for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 1-0.

"Everything is fine and I'm ready to go [Saturday]," Girardi said Friday.

Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 11:46 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers' Nash feels better, ready to go in Game 1

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Rick Nash will be in the lineup Thursday after missing practice Wednesday because of the flu.

The Rangers open the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 1 of the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, ROOT).

"I am better," Nash said after taking part in New York's full morning skate. "It was a rough couple of hours. I feel good. I felt pretty strong out there, better than I thought [I would]."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 2:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers' Klein unlikely to play in Game 1 vs. Penguins

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein is not expected to play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, NBCSN, TVA Sports, ROOT, MSG) because he has not been cleared to return to practice.

Klein sustained a broken left arm March 11 against the Washington Capitals and missed the final 16 games of the regular season. The Rangers will practice Wednesday in advance of Game 1, but coach Alain Vigneault said Klein will not participate.

Vigneault said Klein will have to practice before he plays in a game. He said Klein is skating on his own.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 12:03 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's playoff mailbag - April 14, 2015

Here is the April 14 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically throughout the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Which Canadian team out west will go the deepest in the playoffs? -- @JoseHudson

I'm picking the Vancouver Canucks will make it to the second round, which means the Calgary Flames won't get there, obviously. I don't think the Winnipeg Jets will get past the Anaheim Ducks, so the answer for me is Vancouver.

I wouldn't rank any of the three Canadian teams from the Western Conference (I was going to say Western Canadian teams but Winnipeg is not in Western Canada) as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. I think the Canucks will get past the Flames in six games, but I also think they'll go up against Anaheim in the second round and lose that series.

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Quote of the Day

He is, in my opinion, one of the best defensemen in the NHL and continuing to grow. I think his game, from an offensive standpoint, he continues to drive our offense... I think there's still tremendous upside for Oliver.

— Coyotes GM Don Maloney on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson