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Orpik returns for Penguins; Kreider in for Rangers

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 7:31 PM

By Staff -  / Penguins-Rangers series blog

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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.

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

Orpik was paired with Rob Scuderi during warm-ups. The other defense pairs had Paul Martin with Kris Letang and Matt Niskanen with Olli Maatta.

Orpik has one goal, two points and a plus-5 rating in four games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Robert Bortuzzo, who replaced Orpik in the lineup, will be a healthy scratch. Bortuzzo has one assist and a plus-2 rating in five games; the Penguins went 4-1 in that stretch and outscored the opposition 14-7.

Kreider has been sidelined since March 24 due to a fractured left hand that required surgery.

During line rushes in warm-ups, Kreider skated on the left side with center Derek Stepan and right wing Rick Nash. They made up New York's top forward line for much of the season until Kreider was injured.

Kreider had 17 goals and 37 points in 66 games in his first full NHL season. Rookie Jesper Fast will be a healthy scratch after playing Game 3. Coach Alain Vigneault also used forward Daniel Carcillo and scratched rookie J.T. Miller.

Quote of the Day

He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft