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Jersey hunt - Penguins at Rangers - 04-21-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The best jerseys at tonight's Penguins-Rangers game. 

-Brian Leetch Team USA:

-Ron Greschner is popular in classical form:

-And alternate form:

-Doug Lister:

-Adam Graves:

-Brendan Shanahan:

-Jean Ratelle:

-No. 23 is popuar. Jeff Beukeboom:

-And Chris Drury:

-Joey Kocur:

-Wayne Gretzky:

There are a few Penguins fans here. Olli Maatta:

(We assume this jersey is a knockoff.)

 

Evgeni Malkin:

-Nick Bonino T-shirt:

-Chris Kunitz:

-Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury:

-Mario Lemieux is popular in pigeon form:

-And classic form:

 

-Egads. A Mike York jersey!

-This is sharp. Rod Gilbert without a nameplate:

-Former Penguins/Current Rangers forward Tanner Glass:

-Jersey of the Night: Former Penguins/Rangers star Alexei Kovalev:

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Pregame thoughts - Penguins at Rangers - 04-21-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Defenseman Olli Maatta (above) had a pretty clean Game 3 after a rough Game 2. He talked about rebounding earlier today:

How did you feel in Game 3?

"I don't think the first two games, I was too good. I didn't play well. I felt better in Game 3. I know I can be better still."

Was Game 3 significant in terms of just getting a confidence boost?

I knew all the time I could play better but definitely when you feel it, it's different. It was great for the confidence for sure.

You skated on a fourth or spare defensive pairing Monday in practice. Could something like that serve as motivation or a kick in the pants.

"I think there's enough motivation if you don't play good and the team loses. I think that's definitely enough. I think everybody has to know how they play. I know I didn't play well enough. I know I had to play better."

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Head coach Mike Sullivan lauded Maatta's Game 3 effort:

“I thought he was real solid. We knew he would respond the right way. He's a great kid. He has a lot of pride. He cares about winning and as I said, he's a real good hockey player. He's a smart player. He's smart on the puck. It through he responded the right way.”

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Right winger Bryan Rust (right) also said he felt he had a better effort in Game 3 compared to Game 2:

“I felt a lot better Game 3. I felt my line had some good offensive zone shifts. We got on the forecheck well. We played well defensively. [Center Matt Cullen] had that huge goal for us. Me personally, I felt like I was getting my speed under me. I was getting on [defensemen] which is my game and trying to use my feet as much as I can. … Game 2 was a little bit of shaking off rust but I felt great in Game 3 and hopefully I can keep it going.”

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-Left winger Conor Sheary appears set to resume as the left winger on the top line with center Sidney Crosby and right winger Patric Hornqvist while left winger Chris Kunitz will slot in next to centers Evgeni Malkin and Eric Fehr. They were switched midway through Game 3 and practice on their respective lines Wednesday. Sullivan talked about the switch:

"They're two different types of players. I think they bring something to the line they're on that's a little bit different and based on how the game goes, sometimes we jockey those guys back and forth or move them back and forth based on what we see or how the lines are playing. They both haveplayed a fair amount with Sid's line or [Malkin's] line so it's an easy, seamless tweak for us and it just gives us another option.”

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Rangers left winger Tanner Glass, a member of his team's penalty kill, spoke today about the Penguins' power play which has gone 4 for 13 (30.7 percent) so far in this series:

“They make that one play in particular, that backdoor play where [right winger Phil Kessel] throws it off that far post and you've got Sid there and Hornqvist going to the net too. It's a real tough play but we don't' want to give away our secrets but we've got some plans for that one."

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Elsa/Getty Images)

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Stalberg: No apology from Letang - 04-21-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Rangers left winger Viktor Stalberg spoke with media after today's morning skate for the first time since he was slashed in the face by Penguins' defenseman Kris Letang during Tuesday's Game 3.

Stalberg lost three teeth on the play which escaped an in-game penalty or supplemental discipline.

Here's what Stalberg had to say:

What happened on the play:

"I didn’t really see what happened on the ice, but watching the replay it’s kind of a dangerous play. I’m lucky I didn’t get it worse but stuff happens quickly out there.”

Should it have been a penalty?

"Yeah. Of course it’s a penalty, no matter how you look at it. But, again, things happen fast out there. They’re going to miss stuff--it’s going to happen both ways--so you can’t really dwell on that too much. But obviously that’s the frustrating part. That time of the game, it would have been big for us to get a four minute power play.”

Was he fortunate to only lose three teeth and nothing more serious?

"Yeah. ...He didn’t catch me too, too badly. So [I’m] fortunate there. Things happen out there. Guys get hurt all the time."

Letang said he apologized afterwards:

"No, that’s not [true]. I haven’t heard from him. Obviously I couldn’t care less if I did or not. It’s part of the game, it’s part of the playoffs. We’re not looking to put any focus on this. We have to be better tonight."

(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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About the Rangers - Game 4 - 04-21-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Rangers.

When and where: 7 p.m., EDT. Madison Square Garden.

TV: Root Sports (Pittsburgh market), MSG (New York market), CNBC (Rest of the United States), Sportsnet.

Leading Postseason scorer: Center Derick Brassard, 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists).

Last Game: 3-1 home loss in Game 3 Tuesday. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves for the Rangers.

Probable goaltenders: Matt Murray (1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .941 SV%) for the Penguins. Lundqvist (1-1-0, 2.16 GAA, .931 SV%).

Injuries: For the Penguins, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) is out. Right winger Pascal Dupuis (blood clots), center Kevin Porter (right ankle) and left winger Scott Wilson (right ankle or foot) are on injured reserve. For the Rangers, defenseman Dan Girardi ("upper body") is doubtful.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins held an optional morning skate. Consider this a guess at the Penguins' lines and pairings based on Wednesday's practice:

43  Conor Sheary - 87 Sidney Crosby - 72 Patric Hornqvist
62 Carl Hagelin - 13 Nick Bonino - 81 Phil Kessel
14  Chris Kunitz - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 16 Eric Fehr
34 Tom Kuhnhackl - 7 Matt Cullen - 17 Bryan Rust

3 Olli Maatta 58 Kris Letang
8 Brian Dumoulin - 6 Trevor Daley
28 Ian Cole - 12 Ben Lovejoy

-The Rangers held an optional morning skate. Consider this a guess based on their lineup from game 3:

20 Chris Kreider - 21 Derek Stepan - 36 Mats Zuccarello
10 J.T. Miller - 16 Derick Brassard - 61 Rick Nash
12 Eric Staal - 13 Kevin Hayes - 19 Jesper Fast
15 Tanner Glass - 28 Dominic Moore - 25 Viktor Stalberg

18 Marc Staal - 8 Kevin Klein
93 Keith Yandle - 6 Dylan McIlrath
76 Brady Skjei - 22 Dan Boyle

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played the Rangers, this happened:

-The Rangers recalled forwards Chris Brown, Nicklas Jensen, Jayson Megna, Daniel Paille, and defensemen Mat Bodie, Ryan Graves, and Chris Summers from Hartford of the AHL.

-The referees are (No. 27) Eric Furlatt and (No. 19) Gord Dwyer. The linesmen are (No. 54) Greg Devorksi and (No. 70) Derek Nansen.

(Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

 

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Empty Netter Assists - No suspension for Letang - 04-21-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Note: Due to some technical limitations (i.e. spotty Wifi at our hotel), today's EN Assists will be scaled back. Our apologies.

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Rangers

-Defenseman Kris Letang (above) will not face supplemental discipline in regards to a slash to the face of Rangers center Viktor Stalberg in Game 3.

-Stalberg lost three teeth due to the slash.

-The play in question:

-The Penguins' penalty killers have been close to perfect this series.

-Goaltender Tristan Jarry was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.

-The Rangers recalled forwards Chris Brown, Nicklas Jensen, Jayson Megna, Daniel Paille, defensemen Mat Bodie, Ryan Graves, and Chris Summers from Hartford of the AHL.

-New York Jets center Nick Mangold is definitely not a Penguins fan.

Capitals - Flyers

-Goaltender Michal Neuvirth made 31 saves for the Flyers who beat the Capitals, 2-1, in Game 4. Forward Wayne Simmonds recorded two assists for Philadelphia. Washington has a 2-1 series lead.

Panthers - Islanders

-Goaltender Roberto Luongo made 26 saves for the Panthers who beat the Islanders, 2-1, in Game 4. The series is tied, 2-2.

Stars - Wild

-Forward Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist for the Stars in a 3-2 win against the Wild in Game 4. Defensemen Jason Demers and Kris Russell each had a goal and an assist for Dallas while goaltender Antti Niemi made 28 saves in the victory. The Stars have a 3-1 series lead.

Blues - Blackhawks

-Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw was suspended one game, fined $5,000 and ordered to undergo sensitivity training by the NHL after he used a homophobic slur and verbally abused an official during Game 4

-“I wanted to apologize for my actions — I have no excuses for anything. I want to apologize to the gay and lesbian community. That’s not the type of guy I am.” - Shaw.

Sharks - Kings

-Goaltender Brent Burns and forward Patrick Marleau each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks who beat the Kings, 3-2 in Game 4. Goaltender Martin Jones made 26 saves for San Jose which had a 3-1 series lead.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Penguins

Center Jake Guentzel and right winger Carter Rowney each had a goal and an assist for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who beat the Providence Bruins, 3-2, in overtime of Game 1 of an Atlantic Division semifinal series. Center Dustin Jeffrey also scored for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while goaltender Casey DeSmith made 31 saves in the victory.

-Highlights:

-Forward Brace Riley had a goal and two assists for the Wheeling Nailers in a 6-3 loss to the Florida Everblades in Games 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Goaltender Brian Foster made 12 saves for Wheeling. Florida leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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