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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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