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Penguins could be without Maatta, Orpik

by Dan Rosen

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.

Engelland hasn't played since April 12. He appeared in 56 regular-season games, including a handful as a forward, and had 12 points on six goals and six assists.

Engelland appeared in seven playoff games last season. He had no points and was a minus-6 with eight penalty minutes.

"Deryk brings certain attributes to our defensive corps that you would definitely want him to bring," Bylsma said. "Physicality and he's a hard guy to play against. We've seen him do it last year in the playoffs against Boston, be that big-bodied guy and hard defending on players. If he were to get in that's what I would want him to be."

Engelland said he didn't know if he was going to be in the lineup Sunday night. If he is, he said he'd be ready and the fact that he hasn't played in a month is not a concern.

"I'll try to get in a few quick shifts just to get back into it," Engelland said. "It's been a while. I just need to keep it simple out there to get back into things."

The Penguins are 0-for-1 in their opportunities to close out the Rangers and advance to the Eastern Conference Final. They lost 5-1 in Game 5 on Friday at Consol Energy Center.

"We didn't come close to matching the intensity and desperation they had," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said of Game 5. "Tough lesson, but one we have to learn from and make sure it's there [Sunday night]."

They have reason to believe that intensity and desperation will be there Sunday.

The Penguins are 2-0 at the Garden in this series and played arguably their best game of the playoffs in Game 4, when they held the Rangers to 15 shots on goal and had to kill only two penalties in a 4-2 victory.

"In Game 4, they said they didn't have their best game and they were giving pucks away, but for us I thought we put pucks in spots where we could get 'em back," Penguins forward James Neal said. "We were physical. We were doing things to make them give up the puck and put them in bad spots. Everything you work for you get back, and we just weren't there last game."

Brooks Orpik
Brooks Orpik
Defense - PIT
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 2
SOG: 8 | +/-: 6
Neal said the first shift of Game 6 will be big because he felt in Game 4 the Penguins were hard on the Rangers' early and set the tone for the game.

"You want to put the team on their heels right away," he said. "The second you start waiting around and watching the game gets ahead of you and we can't let that happen. We did that too much last game."

Here are the projected lineups:


Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Evgeni Malkin

Jussi Jokinen - Brandon Sutter - James Neal

Beau Bennett - Marcel Goc - Lee Stempniak

Brian Gibbons - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams

Paul Martin - Kris Letang

Matt Niskanen - Rob Scuderi

Robert Bortuzzo - Deryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Tanner Glass, Chris Conner, Taylor Pyatt, Tomas Vokoun

Injured: Olli Maatta (undisclosed), Brooks Orpik (undisclosed), Pascal Dupuis (knee)

Note: If Maata is able to play, he will be on the second defense pair with Niskanen, dropping Scuderi to the third pair with Bortuzzo. Engelland will likely be scratched.


Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Chris Kreider

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Martin St. Louis

Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Dominic Moore - Brian Boyle - Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Raphael Diaz, Justin Falk, Daniel Carcillo, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast


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