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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 7:05 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Glass in, Bennett out of Penguins lineup

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tanner Glass will return to the lineup for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers.

Glass replaced Beau Bennett in the lineup and took line rushes during warm-ups alongside Brandon Sutter and Lee Stempniak. Glass last played in Game 1 against the Rangers. In seven games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Glass has four penalty minutes and 10 shots on goal.

The Penguins changed their top two lines, putting Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on separate lines for the first time in the series. Crosby skated with Chris Kunitz and Brian Gibbons, and Malkin was between Jussi Jokinen and James Neal.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 6:05 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers embrace winner-take-all mentality of Game 7

PITTSBURGH -- When New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault looked at what his team would be facing against the Pittsburgh Penguins in their Eastern Conference Second Round series, beating the Penguins four times in a seven-game span appeared to be a daunting task.

"If you had asked me before the series started against this opponent, with the firepower they have and the strength that they have, if I'd prefer to play four out of seven or one game, winner take all, I would have taken the one game, winner take all," Vigneault said.

Vigneault got what he wanted. The Penguins and Rangers will play Game 7 of their series on Tuesday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 1:23 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins' Crosby gets last chance to impact series

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Tuesday there will be one defining image of Game 7 of his team's Eastern Conference Second Round series with the New York Rangers.

He doesn't know what that picture will be, or who will be in it. But there's a pretty good chance it could include Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

When the Penguins take the ice against the Rangers on Tuesday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), Crosby will be the most talented player out there. But he'll also be a player with one goal in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games this year, and three points in six games in the series.

It's not that Crosby has played poorly in the postseason. He has nine points in 12 games. He's won 57.3 percent of his faceoffs against the Rangers, including 66.7 percent in Games 5 and 6. And he's the second-best possession player in the postseason, with a Corsi-for percentage of 61.1 percent.

But when you're Sidney Crosby, and you have the resume he's built in nine seasons in the NHL, strong possession numbers and faceoff-success rates are not what people are looking for. And Crosby knows as much.

"I think everyone puts pressure on themselves," he said. "As far as talking about myself, of course I put more pressure on myself to make sure I'm at my best. You want to help the team as much as you can. Big game, big moment, you want to be at your best."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 12:32 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins bringing road mentality into Game 7

PITTSBURGH -- A Game 7 will be played at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday, but the Pittsburgh Penguins are preparing as if they are on the road.

The Penguins are 1-7 in their past eight home elimination games entering Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Their record is nearly reversed in road elimination games, with six wins in their past seven.

Although Pittsburgh will play in front of a home crowd Tuesday, its pregame preparations have mirrored how it would treat a road trip. The Penguins stayed at a Pittsburgh-area hotel Monday night and traveled to the arena on a bus for their Tuesday morning skate.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen said the Penguins attempted to build camaraderie.

"We're all in this together, so let's hang out together before the biggest game of the season," Niskanen said. "Hopefully, we do bring that road mentality. Sometimes there's extra pressure to win at home or something. I don't think that's the case tonight.

"It's a Game 7. It is at home, so we should use that to our advantage. … I think everyone will pull together and try to play our best game for each other."

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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 5:45 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins put rest of series in past, focus on Game 7

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins would have rather avoided a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers. But after allowing a 3-1 series lead to evaporate, they want to embrace the moment.

Pittsburgh seemed to be playing its best hockey in several weeks after winning three straight games to take a 3-1 series lead. They regressed in the following two games, losing them by the combined score of 8-2, with the Rangers evening the series 3-3 entering Game 7 on Tuesday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"I think a little bit, you can look at Games 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 as mirror opposites of each other," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "That was a team after Game 4 that was a little bit frustrated and a little bit disappointed with how they played and vowed to be better in Game 5 and were. … We can't live in Games 3 and 4. We certainly can't live in Games 5 and 6.

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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 3:14 PM

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

Rangers' penalty killers frustrating Penguins

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- One way to keep the Pittsburgh Penguins' elite scorers off the board and frustrated is to not give them anything on the score sheet or much in the way of momentum when they're on the power play.

The New York Rangers have staved off elimination twice to force Game 7 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Penguins on Tuesday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) by doing just that.

New York is 12-for-12 on the penalty kill in the past four games, including 8-for-8 in the past two, and 18-for-19 in the series. It's a major improvement for their PK from the first round against the Philadelphia Flyers, who scored six power play goals on 21 chances.

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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 12:43 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Crosby: Penguins need better start in Game 7

NEW YORK -- Now would seem to be the perfect time for Sidney Crosby to break out of his offensive slump if he hopes to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 2014 playoffs haven't come easy for Crosby, who has one goal and nine points and is minus-3 in 12 games. He has one goal and two assists against the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference Second Round series, which is headed for Game 7 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

In a 3-1 loss against the Rangers in Game 6 on Sunday, Crosby was penalized for cross-checking an opponent at the end of the second period. It appeared to be a penalty taken out of frustration against Dominic Moore, who was down on his hands and knees when Crosby drove his stick into the New York center's back.

It's something Crosby knows cannot happen in the series finale. It's also why Penguins owner Mario Lemieux paid a little visit to Crosby after the game to provide some support, counseling and, perhaps, advice inside the visiting room at Madison Square Garden.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 6:50 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Maatta to play for Penguins in Game 6

NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta will be in the lineup for Game 6 against the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (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 / 2:44 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers, Penguins share fond Mother's Day memories

NEW YORK -- To this day, New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is amazed how patient and supportive his mother was in a home of four hockey-crazed sons.

"She was a busy mother with the four of us always in need of something," Staal said. "We spent 10 to 15 years inside of a hockey rink, I think. She's a pretty amazing woman and she still wants to take care of us and make sure we're alright."

Those memories were echoed by various players for the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins on Mother's Day prior to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS, NBCSN). The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 2:04 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers' McDonagh after repeat showing in Game 6

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh is hoping for a repeat of his last game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

McDonagh is arguably coming off his finest effort of this series Friday in a 5-1 victory in Game 5 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh when he scored his first postseason goal, blocked two shots and had three hits in a team-high 26:53 of ice time.

How was he able to do it?

"I was trying to use my legs a little more," McDonagh said. "Whether it's gap defensively or trying to keep pucks in offensively and get pucks to the net; I'm just trying to do the same out there."

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— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on not rushing Steven Stamkos onto the ice