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Get your game notes: Rangers at Penguins

May 2, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

PenguinsRangers AP

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the New York Rangers starting at 7 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Tonight marks the start of the fifth all-time playoff series between the Rangers and Penguins. Pittsburgh has had the home-ice advantage in all four previous series, and won all of them. The Rangers have never won the opening game of a series against the Pens, and have only held a series lead once, when they had a two-games-to-one advantage in 1992 before losing the final three games of the series. The Pens are 9-2 all-time in home playoff games vs. the Rangers, outscoring them by a combined 49-34.

• Penguins center Sidney Crosby had no goals and six assists in Pittsburgh’s six-game victory over Columbus in the first round, marking the third (and longest) playoff series of Crosby’s career in which the Pittsburgh captain went without a goal. The Penguins have won two of the three series – including Crosby’s lone playoff series vs. the Rangers, in 2008.

• Goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury (86 career postseason games) and Henrik Lundqvist (74) are first and second, respectively, among remaining goalies in this postseason in career playoff games played. (L.A.’s Jonathan Quick is third, with 57.) Both Lundqvist and Fleury have both played their entire careers with their respective teams. This is Fleury’s 10th season with the Penguins (eighth postseason); Lundqvist’s ninth with the Rangers (eighth postseason).

• The Rangers went 3-29 (10.3%, T-third worst in playoffs) on the power play in the first round and have gone 0-21 in their last 21 opportunities with the man advantage. The Penguins allowed at least one power-play goal in five of their six first-round games vs. Columbus, including four power-play goals (in 13 opportunities) in the last three games.

Martin St. Louis, who scored one goal in 19 regular-season games as a Ranger following his March 5 trade from Tampa Bay, registered two goals and four assists in the first round against Philadelphia, tied for the team lead with Brad Richards. St. Louis has faced the Penguins once before in the playoffs, when his Lightning pulled off a seven-game upset of the Penguins in the first round of Tampa Bay’s run to the 2011 Eastern Conference Final. St. Louis had four goals and four assists to lead all players in that series, in which Sidney Crosby did not play due to concussion issues.

  1. 7mantel - May 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    NYR’s power play has to improve ! LGR

  2. johnthebiscuit - May 2, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    GO PENS!!!

  3. etjla - May 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Better check your facts NBC. In 92 the Rangers had home ice.

  4. stepanup - May 2, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Little concerned about the Rangers playing their 3rd in 4 days, but that’s what happens when you can’t win two playoff games in a row. I expect a feeling out period early with a busy finish. It’d be huge for NYR to get this one…

  5. buckhome - May 2, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Gotta feel that Lunqvist is the key to the series. Fleury will get scored on, no doubt – the question is whether Henrik can shut down the top scorers on the Pens. Seems some Pens players know his soft spot, particularly Kunitz and Jokinen.

    • xdj511 - May 2, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      I think it’s the other way around. I think MA Fleury is going to be the key. If he plays like a world class goalie the Rangers aren’t going to score enough goals to win. If he plays like, well, Theo Fleury, then like with Columbus no lead is safe and this becomes a winnable series for the Rangers.

      • stakex - May 2, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        I would disagree with that xdj.

        The Rangers rely on Lundqvist far more than the Pens rely on Fleury. The Pens can still win games if they are giving up a lot of goals, as we saw last series, but the Rangers generally can’t. As such, Fleury’s play isn’t nearly as vital to the Pens success…. Fleury can have a bad series and the Pens still win. If Lundqvist has a bad series, its light out for the Rangers.

        And with a career playoff stat sheet of .903 S% and 2.71 GAA (almost identical to the first round)… the odds of Fleury suddenly turning into a world class shutdown goaltender are almost non-existent.

      • xdj511 - May 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Valid points indeed stakex,

        I am just thinking about the Philly series last spring and how quickly the whole team unraveled when Fleury struggled.

      • theageofquarrel - May 2, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        The Flyers didn’t make the playoffs last year

      • JoeAvg - May 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        You got that backwards xdj511. The team unraveled in front of him first then Fleury went down from being shell-shocked.

      • elmerbrownelmerbrown - May 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        stakex you actually think the pens could play with an empty net and outscore the opponents dont you,,, your goalie stinks and your defense one in particular KRISTOPHER LETANG aka THE TURNOVER CONTRAPTION

      • theageofquarrel - May 2, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        What time does the Flyers playoff game start?

      • elmerbrownelmerbrown - May 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        theageofstupid is that the best you got ,,,,,,,,cmon now really !

      • xdj511 - May 2, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        Really? The years are really starting to blend together, sorry!

      • theageofquarrel - May 2, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        Well,what time?

      • killerpgh - May 2, 2014 at 4:56 PM

        stakex you actually think the pens could play with an empty net and outscore the opponents dont you,,, your goalie stinks and your defense one in particular KRISTOPHER LETANG aka THE TURNOVER CONTRAPTION

        Syakex bashes the Penguins every chance he gets. Letang isn’t on “his” teams defense.

        Hopefully Giroux can golf safely this summer…..

    • arrow43050 - May 2, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      I agree completely. Lundqvist is going to have to steal 2 games by himself for the Rangers to win the series. Fleury will have his normal mix of about 3 competent, 1 poor, 1 dreadful and 1 stellar game. The Rangers will need Lundqvist to be much better than that in order to win the series.

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      One thing to note Stakex is those stats you quoted were very skewed by PP goals. He actually had the highest (or 2nd highest) Sv% in 5 on 5 play in the first round. If the Pens stay out of the box he’s solid.

  6. pats2001 - May 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    penguins are fortunate they didnt have to philly this round. the rangers are a solid group and lundquist has the ability to steal a game or two, but they don’t seem to play nearly as physical as philly. penguins should be able to take this series handily

    • pats2001 - May 2, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      *play philly

    • stakex - May 2, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      Yeah the Flyers physical play really helped them last series didn’t it? In fact, the Flyers didn’t have any sort of edge in hits last round… with the number of hits almost dead even.

      Not to mention the Flyers terrible turnover happy defense would have been torn apart by the Pens. The Rangers might have struggled to bury all those gifts the Flyers were giving away…. but the Pens wouldn’t have.

      • elmerbrownelmerbrown - May 2, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        It wasn’t a physical series at all, both teams were well rested after that series, maybe you should have watched before flapping your lips ! If you look the word turnover up synonyms would include ! In my best piere mcguire voice KRISTOPHER LETANG

      • jkay1818 - May 2, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        elmer, stakex is a Rangers fan, he can care less about letang.

      • moarjam - May 2, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        Call me crazy but I don’t get how the flyers have the reputation of a “physical” team. I did not see them hitting much at all in the last series. Sure, they mix up it after the whistle and slash a lot but while the clock was running I didn’t see much “physical” play from them i.e. hitting, board work, ect.

    • hockey412 - May 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Seems to me that NYR won because they played to their own strengths…hitting and physical play doesn’t have to be one of them. (Also see Montreal/Boston last night).

  7. President Charles Logan - May 2, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Pens in 5 …. their just better

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