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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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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 1:50 PM

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

Penguins could be without Maatta, Orpik

NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins defensemen Olli Maatta and Brooks Orpik did not take part in the morning skate Sunday at Madison Square Garden, and coach Dan Bylsma would not elaborate on any potential injuries or the details of his lineup for Game 6 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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

Maatta has not missed a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after playing in 78 games during the regular season. Orpik has missed six of the past seven games with an undisclosed injury. He played only 5:15 in Game 4 against the Rangers and then did not play in Game 5 on Friday.

If Maatta is unable to play, Deryk Engelland will likely make his 2014 playoff debut.

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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 Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 11:56 AM

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

Rangers' Nash frustrated with scoring slump

NEW YORK -- It's not as if New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash is waiting to score a goal off his leg or his arm, but he sure would take one right about now.

Nash hasn't scored a goal in 13 straight games, including 12 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and has just one in his past 18 games as he and the Rangers prepare to play Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins 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 Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 3:20 PM

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

Kreider finds stride in Game 5 after injury

At the start of training camp in September, New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was talking about forward Chris Kreider's lower-body strength and power. That discussion referenced a YouTube video of Kreider jumping straight out of the shallow end of a swimming pool and landing feet first on the deck in an impressive show of raw athleticism.

Vigneault could have referenced that same video when talking about Kreider's performance in the Rangers' 5-1 win Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center, a victory that kept New York's season alive and cut Pittsburgh's lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series to 3-2.

In just his second game back after missing 19 in a row because of a hand injury, Kreider scored a goal, had two shots, was credited with six hits and created scoring chances for both himself and linemates Rick Nash and Derek Stepan by using his legs.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 1:46 PM

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

Penguins' Scuderi remains confident despite criticism

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi has been criticized for his underwhelming performance during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Coach, Dan Bylsma said he thinks that perception is unfair.

Scuderi is a minus-3 through 11 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which ranks last among Pittsburgh defensemen. The two-time Stanley Cup champion has struggled since returning in December from a broken leg that sidelined him for two months.

That continued Friday, when Scuderi made a miscue that led to one of the New York Rangers' two power-play goals during Pittsburgh's 5-1 loss in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series.

Game 6 of the best-of-7 series, which Pittsburgh leads 3-2, is Sunday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Bylsma said Scuderi does not receive the credit he deserves because he is not a high-octane offensive performer.

"He's a fairly unassuming defenseman in how he plays," Bylsma said of Scuderi. "He's a guy who defends and is always thinking defense. The PK is a big part of that. We had some unforced errors and that was one of them. You don't get it cleared, it's in the back of the net a few seconds later.

"That's not the only mistake in the game. But I think Rob's played some of his best hockey for us in these playoffs."

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Posted On Friday, 05.09.2014 / 6:49 PM

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

St. Louis to play for Rangers after mother's death

PITTSBURGH -- New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis will be in the lineup for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), one day after the death of his mother.

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-1.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said St. Louis learned of the death of his mother France, 63, on Thursday, not long after the Rangers landed here. Vigneault said St. Louis immediately left the team to return to his family's home in Montreal.

Speaking with St. Louis on Thursday and Friday, Vigneault said St. Louis expressed a desire to play in Game 5.

"This morning he said that he talked to his dad," Vigneault said Friday. "And him and his dad both agreed that his mom would want him to be here, and that's what he did."

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Posted On Friday, 05.09.2014 / 5:32 PM

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

Penguins control puck by dominating faceoff circle

PITTSBURGH -- One of the biggest reasons the Pittsburgh Penguins hold a 3-1 lead in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers has been their dominance in the faceoff circle.

The Penguins can return to the Eastern Conference Final with a win Friday in Game 5 (7 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS, NBCSN).

One way they can get there is to continue to win the possession battle, starting with their success on faceoffs. Through four games, the Pens have won 54.3 percent of the draws.

That dominance was most evident in Game 4, when the Penguins won 31 of 49 draws in the game en route to a 4-2 victory.

"Faceoffs are big," Penguins forward Marcel Goc said following practice Friday. "If you can win the majority and you start with puck possession, that's what we want."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 3:12 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Vigneault 'looking at all possibilities'

In a game the New York Rangers knew they had to have in order to regain precious momentum in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the star players were unable to come through in the clutch.

That was the main talking point following New York's 4-2 defeat in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday and a theme that continued during the team's optional skate at its training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., on Thursday afternoon.

The only player absent was left wing Carl Hagelin. Coach Alain Vigneault said Hagelin is fine and should be in the lineup for Game 5 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), with the Rangers down 3-1 in the series and facing Stanley Cup Playoff elimination.

The coach also shuffled his line combinations at the skate. According to The (Bergen) Record, Derek Stepan was centering the top line with Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello, and Brad Richards centered a line with Rick Nash and Daniel Carcillo, who might very well have been holding a placement for Hagelin.

"I'm looking at all possibilities right now," Vigneault told The Record. "We've had a fair amount of success by being consistent [with the line combinations]. With [Kreider] coming in [for Game 4], we basically mixed two lines; [Kreider] went in on one and we took Marty [St. Louis] off that line. So we did make some changes [Wednesday] and those didn't work out to our advantage. So we've got the whole night to think about it and try and come up with a plan."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 1:28 PM

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

Penguins, up 3-1, want to keep foot on the pedal

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins hold a 3-1 lead in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers, but Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said they are not content.

After losing 3-2 in overtime in Game 1, Pittsburgh has won the next three games by the combined score of 9-2. The Penguins have shut out the Rangers twice and shut down New York’s power play, which has failed to score on its last 36 opportunities.

But despite controlling the momentum, Bylsma will not be satisfied until the Penguins earn a series-clinching win, which could come in Game 5 at Consol Energy Center on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"We had that mentality going into the last game," Bylsma said. "It was a situation where the Rangers had played, I think, a really good Game 3 and we were able to get a second wind. Last night was either, 2-2 or 3-1 and we didn't want to wait to see how that game would turn out and make it best-of-5.

"Now, we're almost in the same situation. We don't want to give them any life. We don't want to let them any opportunity and we have that ability coming back here at Consol with our fans, in our building, to get that fourth win."

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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 / 7:31 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Orpik returns for Penguins; Kreider in for Rangers

NEW YORK -- The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers each will have one of their injured players back in the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden.

Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik will play after missing five games with an undisclosed injury. New York forward Chris Kreider, who's been out with a hand injury, will play his first game in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 4:35 PM

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

Penguins' Sutter praises outgoing Hurricanes GM

NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter will never forget the opportunity given him by Jim Rutherford and the Carolina Hurricanes seven years ago.

One of the top two-way players on the Penguins, Sutter has three goals, five points and a plus-8 rating as the third-line center in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Penguins this spring.

Pittsburgh holds a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Second Round best-of-7 series against the New York Rangers. Game 4 is Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Sutter was acquired from the Hurricanes in June 2012 along with Carolina's 2012 first-round pick and defensive prospect Brian Dumoulin in a trade for center Jordan Staal.

Rutherford was the general manager of the Hurricanes when Sutter was selected in the first round (No. 11) of the 2007 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound versatile forward was looked upon at the time as a player capable of logging big minutes, chipping in offensively and excelling on the penalty kill.

Sutter was recently asked about Rutherford and the impact he had in Carolina. Rutherford stepped down as GM after 20 seasons on April 28 and was replaced by Hall of Fame player Ron Francis.

"[Rutherford] drafted me and those were a great five years, four years of playing," Sutter said. "They have a good organization and a good thing going there. They have some good young players too, and now with Jimmy stepping down, he leaves a good mark.

"He's been there a long time and has done a good job, but maybe Carolina is ready for a little change there and Ron Francis will step in and do a good job."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 3:02 PM

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

Penguins could get Orpik back for Game 4

NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik will be a game-time decision Wednesday against the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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

Orpik, who has missed the past five games, has one goal, two points and a plus-5 rating in four games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He sustained an undisclosed injury in the Penguins' first-round series against theColumbus Blue Jackets.

Orpik was replaced in the lineup by Robert Bortuzzo, who has one assist and a plus-2 rating in five games. Bortuzzo's highlight-reel stretch pass to Sidney Crosby in the second period of a 2-0 victory against the Rangers in Game 3 on Monday led to the first goal of playoffs for the Penguins captain.

"There are no injury updates [on Orpik]," coach Dan Bylsma said. "Our lineup will be game-time with the exception of our goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury."

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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 Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 7:18 PM

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

Gibbons in Penguins lineup for Game 2

PITTSBURGH -- Forward Brian Gibbons will return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers.

Gibbons, who missed five games with an undisclosed injury, skated in place of forward Tanner Glass during the Penguins' pregame warmups. He did not skate on a line during Pittsburgh's morning skate.

Gibbons will play fourth-line right wing with forwards Marcel Goc and Craig Adams at Consol Energy Center on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).


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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 1:41 PM

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

Stralman to see time on Rangers power play

PITTSBURGH -- It's usually the team trailing in a series that feels a need to play desperate hockey. But the New York Rangers are feeling their own level of desperation going into Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS, NBCSN).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 1-0 and have a chance to take a 2-0 series lead back to New York. That's despite a power play that has been in a deep sleep for much of the postseason.

"It's a great opportunity," defenseman Anton Stralman said. "I think everybody is looking to this game and really feeling good about our last game, and hopefully we can carry that over to [Game 2]. It's a big game. If we can get out of here with a 2-0 lead that would be great."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 1:15 PM

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

Penguins' Orpik unlikely for Game 2 vs. Rangers

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will have the same lineup, but expect to be a different team when they face the New York Rangers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series Sunday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

That means defenseman Brooks Orpik will most likely miss his fourth consecutive game with an undisclosed injury after taking part in the Penguins' optional practice on Saturday.

Pittsburgh did not make any line adjustments during its morning skate on Sunday. Orpik did not return to the ice after skating on his own about an hour before the skate and forward Brian Gibbons (undisclosed) did not work on a line.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 5:17 PM

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

Rangers looking to improve struggling power play

PITTSBURGH -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault knows how important it is for his team to be successful on the power play. But the current struggles with the man advantage aren't causing him too much concern.

The Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series despite going 0-for-4 on the power play. That ran their streak of consecutive unsuccessful power plays to 25, dating to Game 2 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Game 2 against Pittsburgh will be Sunday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS, NBCSN).

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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 2:10 PM

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

Penguins' Orpik skates; status uncertain for Game 2

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik skated Saturday for the first time since sustaining an undisclosed injury, but his status remains unknown for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the New York Rangers.

Orpik participated in Pittsburgh's optional practice Saturday morning along with several Penguins. The group consisted mostly of players who aren't expected to play in Game 2 on Sunday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Orpik has not officially rejoined the team and left the ice several minutes before any other player.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, who does not offer injury updates during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, did not discuss Orpik's injury.

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Posted On Friday, 05.02.2014 / 1:21 PM

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

Penguins likely to have Sutter, Vitale for Game 1

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will likely have forwards Brandon Sutter and Joe Vitale in their lineup to start their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers on Friday.

Sutter and Vitale each left Pittsburgh's Game 6 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets early with apparent injuries. Sutter returned to the bench late in the third period but did not step back on the ice. Vitale did not return after a knee-to-knee hit that left him lying on the ice for several minutes before being helped to the locker room.

Sutter said he expects to play in Game 1 at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"I think everyone feels good," Sutter said. "We had a couple days to rest and had a good few practices and hopefully we're all feeling fresh by tonight. [The Rangers] definitely had a good second half. They played well and managed to get home ice in the first round. It's going to be a tight series and we expect tight, tight games."

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Posted On Friday, 05.02.2014 / 1:15 PM

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

Rangers shrug off concerns about busy schedule

PITTSBURGH -- Despite a schedule that has the New York Rangers playing six games in nine days, they do not think they are at a disadvantage entering Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Rangers will play their third game in four days Friday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Pittsburgh has had three days to rest and practice since their last game, but New York doesn't think that will affect the series' outcome.

"You can't look at the big picture," Rangers forward Martin St. Louis said. "You just have to focus on the game, and then once that game's over, regroup and focus on Game 2. You can't focus on six in nine. They're in the same boat that we are, so we aren't going to overthink it. Just get ready for the next game."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 12:34 AM

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

Rangers already preparing for Penguins

NEW YORK -- Moments after the New York Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference Second Round with a 2-1, Game 7 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, they weren't taking too much time to celebrate. They were instead preparing to meet the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fresh off their third game in four days, New York's coaching staff was already putting together the game plan for their Metropolitan Division rival.

"We're going to prepare that tonight," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We're battle-tested and we're ready for the next series."

The Penguins finished the season first in the division, 13 points ahead of the second-place Rangers. New York and Pittsburgh split four regular-season games, with each team winning once in the shootout and the Rangers holding a 13-12 advantage in goals scored.

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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie