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Get your Game 7 notes: Rangers at Penguins

May 13, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

Martin St. Louis, Marc-Andre Fleury 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, the Rangers attempt to complete a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in franchise history. New York has lost each of the previous 16 series in which it trailed 3-games-to-1, having forced a Game 7 just once (in 1939 vs. Boston). Pittsburgh will look to avoid losing a series after holding a 3-1 lead for the third time in club history and second time in four seasons (2011 vs. Tampa Bay, 1975 vs. NY Islanders, in which Pittsburgh led the series 3-0).

• The Penguins are 2-6 all-time when hosting Game 7 (0-1 at Consol Energy Center), having lost three in a row and last winning a home seventh game in Round 1of the 1995 playoffs, vs. Washington. The Rangers are 1-5 all-time when they are the visitors for Game 7, with last season’s 5-0 win at Washington the franchise’s only Game 7 win on the road.

• The Rangers have been a hard team to put away recently –- with wins in Games 5 and 6 of this series, New York is 3-0 this postseason when facing elimination, 6-1 in such games over the last two seasons, and 9-2 when facing elimination over the last three seasons. The Rangers tonight are playing Game 7 for the fifth time in their last seven playoff series; they have won the previous four during that stretch, and are 7-1 in winner-take-all games dating to the 1992 playoffs.

• For the second time in three seasons, the Rangers have gone the full seven games in each of their first two playoff series. No team has ever won the Stanley Cup after playing the maximum 14 games in Rounds 1 and 2.

• After dropping Game 1 in OT at home, then winning Games 2-4 by a combined 9-2 score, the Pens were outscored 8-2 in Games 5 (at Pittsburgh) and 6 (at New York). Only twice in franchise history have the Penguins lost three games on home ice in a single playoff series: 2000 vs. Philadelphia (which included Keith Primeau’s 5th-OT goal for the Flyers), and 2011 vs. Tampa Bay, in which neither Sidney Crosby (concussion) nor Evgeni Malkin (knee surgery) played.

• While Malkin has paced the Penguins with 13 points this postseason and 6 points (3-3=6) vs. the Rangers, Crosby remains stuck on one playoff goal (in Game 3), his only score in his last 17 playoff games (54 shots in that span). Both Crosby and Malkin will be playing in their fourth career Game 7 tonight; each has three points in those games (Crosby 2-1=3; Malkin 0-3=3), with the Penguins going 2-1.

Henrik Lundqvist has led the Rangers to four consecutive Game 7 victories over three seasons, including their Round 1 win over Philadelphia this year. With a fifth straight victory tonight, Lundqvist would establish a new NHL record for consecutive wins in Game 7s, breaking a tie with Patrick Roy, Ed Belfour and Cam Ward. During his current four game streak, Lundqvist has allowed a total of three goals, for an 0.75 GAA with a .973 save% during the win streak.

Brad Richards (NYR) holds a 6-0 career record in Game 7s, while teammate Dominic Moore is a career 4-1 that includes a pair of victories over Pittsburgh. Moore scored Montreal’s second goal in a 5-2 seventh-game victory over the Penguins in the 2010 playoffs, in the final game at Mellon Arena. A year later, Moore set up Sean Bergenheim’s goal in a 1-0 Lightning win at Consol Energy Center, completing Tampa Bay’s comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.

• The Lightning, swept from the playoffs by Montreal in Round 1, are sure to be in the Rangers’ corner tonight: should New York win and reach the conference final, the 2014 second-round draft choice the Rangers sent to Tampa Bay as part of the March 5 package for Martin St. Louis automatically becomes a first-round pick.

  1. lowenni - May 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    While the Penguins haven’t played up to their full potential, I don’t think enough credit is being given to the Rangers. They’ve played really, really well. They’re getting solid if not great goaltending from Lundqvist, have a very balanced attack with Stepan, Brassard (or is it Zuccarello?), and Richards as their top 3 centers. That may not be Crosby and Malkin, but their attack is more balanced and they have very underrated depth. On top of that they’re playing very well defensively and getting contributions from their top guys back there. Should the Pens have put them away in Game 5 or 6? Probably. But maybe the first three games the Rangers didn’t play their best and now they’re just showing that they’re just as good a team as the Pens (who are overrated in my opinion and rarely win games when Malkin or Crosby don’t put points on the board). Not a Rangers fan by the way

    • billiam55 - May 13, 2014 at 11:20 AM

      nicely said lowennl.

  2. penguins87and71 - May 13, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Your totally right, the Rangers have played some great hockey as of the last two games.

  3. billiam55 - May 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    lemme say this to my fellow ranger fans on here. we should be so proud of this team. down in the series 3-1 after it looked like we were out of it, and now we’re going to a game 7. the boys came back and showed that they can play. so whatever happens tonight, be proud wearing that rangers jersey.

    • stepanup - May 13, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      100% agree. Regardless of how I feel around 9:45 (barring OT) I’m proud of this team.

    • whammy71 - May 13, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      You play to win the game! Good effort and pride should be left for the scholastic sports.

      With that said, I do tip my hat to the Blueshirts for climbing back into this series and doing whatever it takes to balance the perceived talent disparity between the Pens and Rangers.

      Well played!

    • jkay1818 - May 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      I am only going to be proud if the NYR win, devastated if they lose. If they don’t win tonight, Im not going to go to bed feeling good we came back down 3-1. They are breaking out of their tired skid where they had no legs due to all the games played. This is a good, fast rangers team and overall have more depth than the pens. It’s awesome they came back from 3-1, but, they had some stinkers in the middle of that series. Let them play to their potential and advance.

  4. penguins87and71 - May 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    I feel like the consensus around the Penguins fans is they want the Penguins to lose game 7, so ownership can make changes.

    • lowenni - May 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      That was how Caps fans (me) felt about the Caps missing out on the playoffs, and it may have turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Although I think the Pens could actually compete for the Cup with in my opinion the two best offensive players in the world, I doubt they will play up to that potential and some changes are necessary regardless. The team lacks the depth (and maybe leadership as well) to compete consistently and I think moving Letang out should be the first thing on Shero’s agenda. Niskanen took his place well and Letang makes mistakes and will end up like Mike Green in a few seasons. If they move him out, they can keep Niskanen on and have one of their youngsters like Pouilot step in. They could also use that $7 mil cap space to bring in another REAL top-6 or top line winger.

      • killerpgh - May 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Letang is the Penguins best d-man. Not the most consistent, but he is the best. Niskanen is nowhere near a replacement for Letang and hoping a rookie like Pouilot can fill in is wishfully thinking. He is a promising prospect, but like all prospects the are unproven. How many times did we her Dougie Hamilton was the best player not playing in the NHL? Now Hamilton is up playing in the NHL with the Bruins and averages the 6th most ice time among their defenseman. I’m not bashing Hamilton just saying Pouilot will take time before anyone should expect him to make a huge impact and replace Letang. Niskanen will be 28 next season and next year will be his 8 NHL season. He will get paid next season. Probably over paid by a team with a need. But this year was the 1st season he ever broke 10 goals or 30 assist or averaged over 20:30 minutes per game. Is he a late bloomer or just a average 3/4 d-man having a career year at the right time (contract year)? We won’t know for a while, but I’m thinking he will get paid like a top pair d-man while his skill set put him in the average 2nd pairing range.

    • hockey412 - May 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      I feel like the census you took was in your bedroom and the population size was 1. Could you go back to being quiet until tomorrow?

      • penguins87and71 - May 13, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        First of all I never said I want the Penguins to lose, in fact if they lost I would be pretty devastated. I have heard Penguins say on social media and on sports talk radio in Pittsburgh say that they would rather see the Penguins lose, and make wholesale changes, then win and advance. Of course that’s not the total population of Penguins fans, but it’s a pretty good number of them.

      • hockey412 - May 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        Alright, apologies…but I can’t think of one Pens fan that could possibly say that in public without getting punched. Certainly not the general consensus.

    • bildomatic - May 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      It’s a shot to go to the Eastern Conference Finals… Back in 2011 after the Bruins had failed to make it out of the second round and lost game 7’s at home to Carolina and Philly (ugh) and then in went to OT against Montreal in the first round. I was tempted in that OT to just say forget this, I don’t think this is the group to win a cup, if they lost Claude is out and Chiarelli may be to. Well as you know the Bruins won and went on a storybook run to win the cup. I’m sure the last few postseasons have been frustrating, but we’re talking about a win and you’re 1 series from the cup scenario here…

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 13, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      I don’t know where you are, but the Pens fans around me (myself included) do NOT want to lose tonight.

      Shocking, I know.

    • killerpgh - May 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Screw that. If you want your team to lose a game 7 you aren’t really a fan of that team.

  5. whammy71 - May 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Even Dejan Kovacevic agrees with your comments…..

    • whammy71 - May 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Meant for penguins87and71

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      I don’t know – I think you’re making a logical leap there. He’s not saying he hopes they lose, he’s just stating that a win tonight does not do anything to some of the issues that they’ve had in the past or currently have.

      • whammy71 - May 13, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        If Dejan comes out and says “he hopes they lose” – he will lose access to the team and players.

        Just like the Steelers control the media in Pittsburgh….the Pens are starting to get that clout too.

      • steelpenbucs87 - May 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        I don’t know that that’s true either – that he would lose access to the team and players. Dejan is a columnist, not a beat writer, so his pieces are supposed to be more opinion based. He’s also been extremely critical of all of the teams (Pens, Pirates, Steelers, Panthers) in the past and has never had his access revoked – nor would he.if he came out and said it now…

        The reason he doesn’t, as much as I can glean from the writing, is that he doesn’t want the team to lose. He wants changes to management and the way that the team operates. These things can happen (and his mind should) regardless of a win or a loss tonight.

  6. killerpgh - May 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    No worthless article about Players guaranteeing a win for the team. Just another thing this series in missing.

    Kind of disappointed about the amount of hate between these 2 division rivals. Seems like the post whistle scrums didn’t start happening until 5 1/3 games in. This is the playoffs. Scrum should be happening after every whistle. Show some heart and hatred for each other.

  7. bmy0913 - May 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    As a rangers fan, I couldn’t help but be seriously frustrated with their play dating back to the philly series. When they are on their game they are as good as anybody, but the consistency has to get there to make a real run at it. 0 for 38 on the pp was a terrifying stat, especially considering Lundqvist’s play and the defensive lines keeping crosbaby off the score sheet and limiting malkin to hardly any production. Its no secret that the pens depth is seriously lacking, and that when you keep those guys at bay you put yourself in an awesome position to take the game. But you can’t win when you dont put the puck in the net…simple fact. Offense is finally stepping up, and with st louis being embraced the way he is with the death of his mother, I feel like they are finally starting to approach that team mentality and embrace each other a bit better. Its no secret that they are lacking identity right now, you never know what is going to fire and work for them night to night, but that diversity can be a strength if they stay adaptable on the fly and dont get themselves in a big hole in the first tilt.

  8. mrd5c - May 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    As a huge Rangers fan, I agree with those who are proud of the way they’ve responded in the last two games. That said, a loss tonight leaves us disappointed and sad. A win tonight would be huge. Let’s go Rangers!

  9. justinpecora50 - May 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    It’ll be interesting to see how the team who gets scored upon first reacts. I still think it’ll come down to the goalies.

    • bmy0913 - May 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      Spot on. If I remember correctly, I think I read a stat this morning that the team to put the first in net has won every game this series. I could have been reading on another series though. Here’s to hoping MAF finally lives up to his rep as a choke artist…hes played really well this series for the most part. Lets go blue shirts.

      • justinpecora50 - May 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM

        Actually the team that has scored first in the second round has won every game with the exception on Minnesota who scored first in Game 5 and lost.

    • bmy0913 - May 13, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      Thats right, I’ve been doing my catching up this morning. Haven’t been able to catch but a game of each of the other series’.

  10. joey4id - May 13, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    MAF vs Lundqvist. If MAF doesn’t give up a soft goal or 2 and 87 leads by example and pots one, then the Pens will have a chance. Otherwise it’s NYR to the ECF.

  11. r8rbhawk - May 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Why hasn’t fivetozeroingame7 posted anything yet? Isn’t this his time to shine and discuss how great the NYR play in game 7? Or does he only post on the Caps discussions to troll Caps fans?

  12. 7mantel - May 13, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Looking for Nash to get off the snide

  13. bleedrangerblue - May 13, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    And I am 5-0 while watching the Rangers and consuming more than 5 beers…

    • bmy0913 - May 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Then drink, dammit, drink!

  14. bleedrangerblue - May 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    And look Rangers fans anything short of a victory is a major disappointment. It’s win and win now. Columbus battled them hard , they can go the ” we are proud” route. Not the Rangers. We need to move on tonight…

  15. bleedrangerblue - May 13, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    I still remember the Adam Henrique goal. It’s win and win now for Hank. Dammit.

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