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Stanley Cup Final

Rivalry renewed? Penguins expect physical test from resilient Rangers

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 6:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Rivalry renewed? Penguins expect physical test from resilient Rangers

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The rested Pittsburgh Penguins say they're ready for an intense matchup with the New York Rangers when the Eastern Conference semifinals begin on Friday night.

The Penguins haven't played since Monday night, when they finished off upstart Columbus in six games.

The Rangers needed seven games to do the same to the Philadelphia Flyers and have less than 48 hours to get ready to face the Metropolitan Division champions.

Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby says the brief down time gave his team a chance to recharge but the Penguins remain wary of New York.

The two teams split four games during the regular season.

All four meetings came before the Olympic break. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma says the Rangers are much improved since the last time they faced Pittsburgh.

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That's the biggest goal I've ever scored. It's a great feeling any time you do that, especially at home. We're one game away from a Stanley Cup berth. It was a huge goal and it felt unbelievable.

— Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey on scoring the overtime winner Monday to give the Ducks a 3-2 series lead against the Blackhawks