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About the Rangers - Game 2 - 04-18-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Rangers.

When and where: 825 p.m., EDT. Madison Square Garden.

TV: NBC, CBC, TVA.

Leading postseason scorers: Center Derrick Brassard and defenseman Ryan McDonagh, 1 point (1 goal, 0 assists) each.

Last Game: 2-1 home win in Game 1 Thursday. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves for the Rangers.

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (0-1-0, 2.03 GAA, .947 SV%) for the Penguins. Henrik Lundqvist (1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .960 SV%) for the Rangers.

Injuries: For the Penguins, defensemen Derrick Pouliot ("upper body"), Christian Ehrhoff (suspected concussion) and Kris Letang (concussion) are out. Right winger Pascal Dupuis (blood clot) and defenseman Olli Maatta (right shoulder) are on injured reserve. For the Rangers, defenseman Kevin Klein (forearm) is out.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins did not have formal line rushes at today's morning skate. These were their primary lines and pairings during Game 1:

26 Daniel Winnik - 87 Sidney Crosby - 72 Patric Hornqvist
14 Chris Kunitz - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 39 David Perron
19 Beau Bennett - 16 Brandon Sutter - 23 Steve Downie
13 Nick Spaling - 40 Maxim Lapierre - 17 Blake Comeau

7 Paul Martin - 12 Ben Lovejoy
4 Rob Scuderi - 27 Ian Cole
8 Brian Dumoulin - 44 Taylor Chorney

-The Rangers had an optional morning skate. Their primary lines and pairs during Game 2 were:

61 Rick Nash - 16 Derick Brassard - 36 Mats Zuccarello (above)
20 Chris Kreider - 21 Derek Stepan - 10 J.T. Miller
62 Carl Hagelin - 13 Kevin Hayes - 26 Martin St. Louis
15 Tanner Glass - 28 Dominic Moore - 19 Jesper Fast

27 Ryan McDonagh - 5 Dan Girardi
18 Marc Staal - 22 Dan Boyle
93 Keith Yandle - 44 Matt Hunwick

Notes:

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

-Ehrhoff and Pouliot participated in the morning skate but will not play. Coach Mike Johnston referred to them as "day to day."

-The game will be delayed so NBC can broadcast the NHL's draft lottery at 8 p.m.

-The referees are Chris Rooney (No. 5) and Frederick L'Ecuyer (No. 17). The linesmen are Mark Shewchyuk (No. 92) and Brian Murphy (No. 93). The standby referee Steve Kozari (No. 40).

-Our live chat begins at approximately 7 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photos: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

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Hornqvist on Lundqvist: 'We didn't even touch him' - 04-18-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Yesterday, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was critical of the Penguins for making contact with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (above, with Penguins center Maxim Lapierre) during Game 1. Vigneault said, "There's a willingness to go there and disturb. There was a lot of stuff from certain of their players we knew that was going to happen after the whistle."

Following their morning skate today, the Penguins disputed Vigneault's claims.

Patric Hornqvist, right winger - "We didn't even touch him. The puck was never there. I don't know where they found the contact on their goalie but obviously, we have to be careful around the net. You see the other games, they call goaltender inference. Obviously, they want to protect the goalies on both sides. But I don't think we did a bad job on Lundqvist the last game. The puck was never there so I don't think we had a chance to get there."

Sidney Crosby, center - "I think we'd like to get there more to be honest with you. I think we're finding ways to get those second, third opportunities. We can definitely do that without touching the goalie. He doesn't really challenge a ton anyway. It's not like he's usually a foot or two outside the crease. I think where we are is pretty good. I think we've just got to make sure that we find those second and third opportunities. I thought we did a good job of staying away from him. I'm sure he's just trying to protect him and make guys aware of it. But we did a good job of staying away from him."

Mike Johnston, head coach - "I think the referees have taken a stance heading into all [playoff series] as you saw by the first call on [left winger Chris Kunitz in Game 1] that they're going to clamp down. A lot of the stuff that happened with Lundqvist for me was the loose puck in the crease and our guys are going after a loose puck. It's sitting there. It's available and players have free reign to play that puck. That's they way it is. I didn't see other than the [Kunitz] one where the puck wasn't there and we actual bumped or hindered Lundqvist from moving in the net. I didn't think there was any of that."

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Empty Netter Assists - Crowded crease - 04-18-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-“We’re trying to shoot from everywhere, so, hopefully, we catch him off-guard." - David Perron on shooting against Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

-“In that line, you had a good combination of guys with speed, they were good on the forecheck. Obviously, they scored the goal but I thought generally, the shifts they played, they really created when they were out there.” - Mike Johnston on the fourth line of Blake Comeau, Maxim Lapierre and Nick Spaling.

-"Right now, we know we that we can beat the Rangers if we play our game and use our skillset. We're going to have to come in tomorrow and look at them in the eye and know that we can beat them. That's the way we're going to win this series." - Maxim Lapierre.

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Paul Martin speaks:

-Rangers coach Alain Vigneault isn't happy with the Penguins crashing his team's crease.

-Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi resumed practicing after taking a puck in the jaw during Game 1.

-A year after Vigneault called him a "very good minor leaguer," Rangers forward J.T. Miller has become a pretty fair top-six NHL winger.

-After the Jump: Canucks-Flames gets ugly.

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Beyond belief -- The colors, scale and blooming tapestry of the Keukenhof Gardens

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog selfie ny

After close to an hour on the road, our tour bus filled with myself and 26 other travelers arrived and the legendary Keukenhof Gardens. It was a good sign when our guide suggested to the bus driver to take a little spin around the bulb fields. As the intoxicating aroma of hyacinths filled the cabin we were awed by the rainbow of colors which stretched for miles. There were millions of bulbs covering flat fields, it was a unique and stunning sight.

We had a feeling the bulb display here in Holland was going to be spectacular, but never could have imagined the grandeur we were about to see.

blog purple tulips

Once inside, the gardens were beyond belief. I’ve been lucky enough to see some the greatest landscapes in the world, and Keukenhof is second to none.

Working my way along the edge of a small stream on the outskirts of the display trying to get just the right angle on those amazing bulb fields, I ran into Michelle Nawaz of New York City. She was working on taking the perfect selfie, using a tapestry of bulbs as her background. She hadn’t seen much of the garden yet, but when she turned to look at the huge display behind her she said, “it’s beautiful, the colors are breathtaking.”

blog pink tulips inside

Turning back to Kuekenhof, the afternoon light danced around the flowers, sometimes filtered through the blooms of spring blooming trees, other times forming long shadows which changed as the the clouds drifted through, pushed along by a soft breeze.

blog fringe tight

The garden is overwhelming as each bed offers another magical combination. Deep orange fringe tulips are set off by dark blue grape hyacinths and tiny white flowers make the perfect background for small purple fritillaria blooms.

blog holding hands

While standing on a little bridge, a French couple walked hand in hand examining bright yellow daffodils. As they walked up to me, I showed them the photo I’d just made of them. For a second there was an uncomfortable moment, not knowing why I handed them the camera, thinking I wanted them to take a picture of me. “It’s you,” I said, and when they looked at the screen, both smiled, then laughed and said, “merci.”

blog long bed

There were unimaginably long beds, hundreds of yards long with repeating patterns of three of four different bulbs in full bloom and other beds containing varieties which waited patiently to become the stars of the garden.

blog lone tulip

One small, brilliant yellow daffodil bravely stood among a huge bed of blue hyacinths. I wondered if it was a survivor from last year’s show. Keukenhof is only open for eight short weeks, opening in March and closing in May. The rest of the time is spent preparing the nearly 80 acres for the next show.

Inside a building draped with white cloth are a multitude of bulbs and plants in full bloom. New introductions of tulips and just about anything else you can imagine are showcased. The colors are spellbinding and the fragrances of lilacs and others are sweet relief from a long winter.

blog selfe garden

There’s a cool place called the selfie garden. All you have to do is take a picture in one of the many oblong mirrors. Old people (like me) are confused and forced to ask the young exactly how to take the right photo. The youngsters were struggling themselves, but figured it out quicker than the oldsters and were more than happy to fill them in for the proper technique.

blog framed tulips

As the sun slowly slipped lower, the flower combinations became even more beautiful. Walking back to the bus, I turned back to see three or four drifts of tulips backlit and framed with a flowering crabapple.

After taking the photo, I put the camera down. Standing there looking at the scene all I could do was smile. It was one of those moments when you want to pinch yourself, “is this really happening,” I though to myself.

I can check Keukenhof off the garden bucket list, but hope to return again to spend a couple days exploring this special place instead of a couple hours.

The bus ride back to the cruise ship was spent in the afterglow of an experience I’ll never forget.

(Top image: The Keukenhof Gardens. Doug Oster photos)

 

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Batman v Superman teaser trailer

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

Zack Snyder tweeted the teaser trailer for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"  after a leaked version surfaced. He noted that his version is not blurry and not pirated.

And yes you see Ben Affleck as Batman alongside Henry Cavill as Superman. Plans are proceeding for an IMAX debut with a few extra shots and perhaps a little swag.  

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