Rangers forward Chris Kreider, who had missed 19 games with a broken left hand, hoped to make an impact in Game 4, his first game since late March, but he fell short.
"I felt a little rusty at times, but I felt like I did some good things, too," said Kreider, who was medically cleared and played 15:24 Wednesday night against the Penguins in the Rangers' 4-2 loss. He had three shot, mostly on a line with Rick Nash and Derek Stepan.
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Kreider took heart from the closed-door meeting when veterans spoke to the club, now down 3-1 in the series to the Penguins.
"Win the next game, it's not over," he said. "You can see throughout the league. We've known of a couple series this year and in past seasons where teams have been able to come back from this kind of deficit. I think we know the way we want to play and we know what we have in this room. It's kind of a gut check."
The Rangers, who had 96 points during the regular season, are 5-6 in the playoffs. If they lose Friday and are eliminated, they will finish in the same manner as last spring under former coach John Tortorella, with a second-round defeat in five games.
Blue notesBrandon Sutter, who scored a shorthanded goal in the second period, said the difference in the Penguins this playoffs, "is probably our defensive zone play." After 35 shots on Monday, the Rangers had 15, and only four in the third period . . . Defensemen John Moore and forward Derek Dorsett were healthy scratches for the second straight game. J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast also were scratched