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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 1:35 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers' St. Louis expecting emotional Mother's Day

NEW YORK -- It will be an especially poignant Mother's Day for New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis when he faces off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series Sunday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

St. Louis learned Thursday that his mother, France, had passed away at age 63. He immediately rushed to Montreal to be with his family before playing in New York's 5-1 Game 5 win in Pittsburgh on Friday. St. Louis' father, Normand, and sister, Isabelle, will be in attendance at MSG on Sunday.

The memory of France St. Louis will no doubt be in all their thoughts as the Rangers, who trail the best-of-7 series 3-2, look to avoid elimination and force a Game 7.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 1:29 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers use unique song to celebrate wins

NEW YORK -- Every NHL team has a specific song cued up in their locker room to celebrate a victory, typically a contemporary rock or hip-hop anthem. Entering Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New York Rangers would like nothing more than to hear a 1970s disco classic when the final horn sounds.

The Rangers' celebratory song in these playoffs, as it has been the entire season, is "Right Back Where We Started From," a hit for British singer Maxine Nightingale in 1976. The song is older than any of the players but has been an enjoyable, if unlikely, way for the team to celebrate a win. If all goes well for the Rangers on Sunday, they'll be hearing it after Game 6 at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 1:02 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Lundqvist shines with season on the line

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers would prefer to not be trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series, but they may have the ultimate ace up their sleeve facing elimination in Game 6 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Few play better when the season is at stake than Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Trailing 3-1 in the series in Game 5 on Friday, Lundqvist made 31 saves in a 5-1 win that improved his record to 8-2 with a .953 save percentage and 1.38 goals-against average in his past 10 elimination games. In his past six elimination home games, he is 6-0 with an 0.98 goals-against average, .965 save percentage and two shutouts.

In typical Lundqvist fashion, he isn't paying attention to his statistics in must-win games.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 12:35 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Nash booed during Game 4 loss to Penguins

NEW YORK -- In what has been a frustrating postseason for New York Rangers forward Rick Nash, Wednesday night has to be considered a low point.

In a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series, Nash struggled to make plays and was roundly booed during the third period by the fans at Madison Square Garden.

When the final horn sounded, the Rangers trailed the best-of-7 series 3-1 and Nash remained without a goal in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs and without a point in eight straight games. The series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), when the Rangers will play with their season on the line for the second time in nine days.


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 12:44 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Kreider medically cleared, day-to-day

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider has been cleared to play medically and is considered day-to-day. Kreider has been out since March 24 with a hand fracture that required surgery.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault would neither confirm nor deny Kreider's place in the lineup for Game 4 on Wednesday in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins(7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RD).

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

The morning after the Rangers enjoyed a day off Tuesday, Kreider participated in his first full-contact practice since sustaining the injury. He said that being out more than a month has been tough but he is hoping to return to the lineup soon.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.06.2014 / 4:05 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins figuring out how to lock down leads

NEW YORK -- The Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets in six games in the Eastern Conference First Round, but they didn't make it easy on themselves.

The Penguins were barely able to maintain sizable leads against the Blue Jackets. But three games into their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers, they may have learned from their previous miscues. They hope to continue that improved play with the lead in Game 4 on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"It's been the theme of the playoffs so far, all the come-from-behind wins," Penguins forward Brandon Sutter said Tuesday. "It is tough when you get back on your heels and you have a lead. I think we can be better when we do have the lead, not getting on our heels and trying to keep pushing. No lead is safe, so you've got to keep playing."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.06.2014 / 3:53 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers take advantage of much-needed day off

After playing a fifth game in seven days Monday, the New York Rangers certainly earned a day off. So after losing 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3, coach Alain Vigneault didn't hesitate to give his players 24 hours to themselves.

Vigneault hopes that day of rest will come in handy when the Rangers host Game 4 on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"We've been in the most challenging part of our schedule so far," Vigneault said in a conference call Tuesday. "I'm extremely proud of how they responded and how they played. In our first nine-plus periods against [Pittsburgh], there's seven-plus that I've really liked. Having today to get away from the game a little bit, [get] re-energized, guys are going to come back tomorrow and I know they're looking forward to this next game."

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Posted On Monday, 05.05.2014 / 7:02 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins to rely on speedy forecheck against Rangers

NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma isn't shy about sharing exactly what his team has to do to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers.

Bylsma sees Pittsburgh's forecheck as the determining factor in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"I think in Game 2 we did a much better job of that, in terms of a heavy forecheck," Bylsma said hours before Game 3. "Making defenseman go back, make them play in the D zone, make it be tough. That is something we have to do in this situation. We did a good job of it last night. We have to do that right from the start."


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Posted On Monday, 05.05.2014 / 6:48 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Vigneault expects more from top Rangers in Game 3

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault made no secret that he expects his best players to improve in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In their 3-0 loss in Game 2 on Sunday, New York's top players appeared to be a step behind Pittsburgh's stars much of the night. The top defensive pair of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh was on the ice for Kris Letang's second-period game-winner, a pass that caromed off Girardi's stick and past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

Vigneault expects a better performance from his top pair, as well as the second defensive pair of Marc Staal and Anton Stralman.


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Posted On Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 5:21 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings look to build on rivalry with Ducks

The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks are separated by 30 miles and are very familiar with each other thanks to several years of divisional matchups. Despite a shared history that includes the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25, they have never played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That is until now.

Fresh off becoming the fourth team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit, the Kings are ready to forget about their run in the Western Conference First Round against the San Jose Sharks and focus on their Southern California rival.

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My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.

— New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin on using his speed to his advantage
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