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Penguins vs Rangers

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Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Penguins feel right players, coaches are in place

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:11 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will not speculate on any potential organizational changes.

Two days after being eliminated by the New York Rangers in seven games in the Eastern Conference Second Round, Penguins players reflected on another failed Stanley Cup Playoff run but avoided looking toward the future. They were consistent in their belief that the relationship between the players and coach Dan Bylsma and his staff was not fractured.

"You're going to hear a lot of that stuff and a lot of negativity and a lot of different rumors," captain Sidney Crosby said. "That's normal when you lose, and there's always people looking for reasons. But if we win [Game 7 against New York] we don't have to answer these questions. But that's the difference between winning and losing."

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Five reasons why the Rangers advanced

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 5:45 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The New York Rangers looked like a team that had run out of energy four games into their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Their 4-2 loss in Game 4 was the culmination of a run of seven games in 11 days, including two sets of back-to-backs.

It included the final three games of their seven-game first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers, which had Games 6 and 7 on consecutive days. After a day of rest, the Rangers started the second round against the Penguins in a game that went to overtime. New York won then were shut out in Games 2 and 3 on back-to-back days. In Game 4, the Rangers had 15 shots on goal, a franchise low for a Stanley Cup Playoff game.

From those depths, the Rangers rose up to win three in a row and earn a second trip to the Eastern Conference Final in three years.

How did they do it? Here are five reasons:

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Penguins face uncertainty after another early exit

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 3:59 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins seemed to be cruising on their way to a second consecutive Eastern Conference Final less than a week ago. After an exit in the Eastern Conference Second Round, they're now faced with uncertainty.

The Penguins responded to a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1 of their second-round series against the New York Rangers with three wins earned in convincing fashion. Pittsburgh outscored the Rangers by a combined score of 9-2 on its way to a 3-1 series lead.

Pittsburgh lost to a lower-seeded team for the fifth consecutive year since winning a Stanley Cup in 2009. But a 2-1 loss in Game 7 Tuesday could have greater implications than simply the end of another disappointing season.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he had not considered what will result from the loss.

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Five reasons why the Penguins were eliminated

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 11:42 AM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins were up 3-1 in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers. Less than a week later, the Penguins are heading home after another early exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The upcoming offseason could be eventful for Pittsburgh after being ousted by a lower-seeded team for the fifth consecutive postseason since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009. But before looking ahead to the changing atmosphere surrounding the Penguins franchise, their first series loss against the Rangers will be analyzed.

After a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1, Pittsburgh rattled off three convincing wins by a combined score of 9-2. They seemed poised to enter the Eastern Conference Final playing their best brand of hockey in several months. That quickly changed and they lost the next three games, scoring one goal in each.

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Rangers' fourth line contributes to Game 7 victory

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 12:14 AM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said prior to Game 7 of his team's Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins that he wanted to get a solid start and be able to roll all four forward lines the entire game.

He was able to check off each item on one shift 5:25 into the game when fourth-line forward Brian Boyle scored the game's opening goal.

It sparked the Rangers to a 2-1 victory Tuesday night and a trip to the Eastern Conference Final for the second time in three years.

Generally a fourth line is used to spell the top players and hopefully generate energy. Boyle and Dominic Moore have done more than that during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, supplying a surprising amount of offense (each has two goals and four points in 14 games), along with sturdy defensive play and penalty killing.

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Lundqvist's heroics win Game 7 for Rangers

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 12:10 AM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal has seen his teammate, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, do some pretty sensational things in their time together, almost enough to make the amazing look routine.

But the saves Lundqvist made late in the third period of Game 7 in the Rangers' Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday left Staal stunned on the bench. They were also the pivotal moments in New York's 2-1 victory.

With New York clinging to a one-goal lead during Pittsburgh's furious late push, the Penguins charged into the crease with 5:16 remaining. Lundqvist dropped to his knees and fanned out his right pad to get a piece of James Neal's low shot from the crease and held strong with Evgeni Malkin jamming away at the puck. After Kris Letang's attempt on the rebound was blocked, Lundqvist fought through bodies to get his left pad on Paul Martin's backhand attempt that changed direction after hitting a stray stick in front. And as Penguins converged en masse at the Rangers net, Lundqvist covered the puck for a whistle.

"That's three or four of the biggest saves I've seen [Lundqvist] make since I've played with him," Staal said. "Five minutes left to go, 2-1 hockey game and he comes up with that ... that's massive. Stepped up and made a bunch of huge saves. Battle hard for us. That got us the win."

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Penguins' Crosby generates little vs. Rangers

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 11:50 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby didn't look like the NHL scoring champion.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain was held scoreless through the final three games of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers. Pittsburgh scored one goal in each of the three losses, culminating with a 2-1 loss in Game 7 Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center.

Crosby was not the only player who failed to produce during Pittsburgh's failure to close out the series after holding a 3-1 lead, but his lack of production left the most noticeable hole.

"It's just disappointing. Tonight was one of our better games," Crosby said. "We worked hard and generated some good chances. I think ultimately, the two we lost and this one hurt as a lot and we put ourselves in this position. But tonight, we worked hard and tried to generate a lot and unfortunately didn't find a way to win."

Forwards Chris Kunitz and James Neal, who finished second and third in goals on the Penguins respectively during the regular season, were also contained. But coach Dan Bylsma said the lack of scoring could not be placed on one player.

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Penguins' offense goes silent against Lundqvist

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 11:15 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- A lack of offense for the third straight game Tuesday night led to the Pittsburgh Penguins being eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs after having a 3-1 series lead for the second time in four years.

The Penguins finished their Eastern Conference Second Round series with the New York Rangers by scoring one goal in each of the final three games, culminating with a 2-1 loss in Game 7 at Consol Energy Center. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was the primary reason behind Pittsburgh's failure to capitalize on a lively crowd and a noticeable edge in puck possession through the first two periods.

"I knew we probably weren't going to score three or four on him," defenseman Matt Niskanen said. "But I thought we threw a lot of rubber at him today. We had guys diving and getting their faces in the crease and trying to will it into the net. He was good.

"In these tight playoff games, it comes down to those types of things. One little play, one little inch, one save."

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Murphy: Rangers, Penguins seek fast starts in Game 7

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 10:48 AM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy to break down the action. Murphy will be checking in throughout the series.

Murphy enjoyed a 14-season career as an NHL defenseman before spending seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets and most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

Gord Murphy was around hockey long enough to know what is going through the minds of the players for the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers as they prepare for Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"The mindset of a player is excitement, anxious, focused on staying in the moment and not allowing yourself to think ahead of the what-ifs," Murphy said.

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Seven questions for Rangers-Penguins Game 7

Monday, 05.12.2014 / 7:40 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins have played four series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs prior to their 2014 Eastern Conference Second Round matchup.

But when they play Game 7 on Tuesday, it will be the first time the teams will take a series the distance (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

It's the first time since 1939 the Rangers have rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to force a Game 7 like they have in this series. However, it's the second time since 2011 the Penguins have gone from up 3-1 in a series to facing a seventh game.

In each of those series, the Rangers and Penguins came out on the losing end.

What can they do to change their fates in their head-to-head Game 7 in 2014? Here are seven questions that could provide an answer:


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Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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