Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal with teammates behind...

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal with teammates behind Rangers' Anton Stralman in the second period. (Jan. 3, 2014) Credit: AP

The Penguins, who defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in six games, were seeded No. 2 in the East, and were 28-9-4 at CONSOL Energy Center, where the first two games of the best-of-seven series will be played.


In the regular season, the Rangers were 2-1-1 against the Penguins, and outscored them 13-12. Sidney Crosby (1-5-6) and Chris Kunitz (3-3-6) tied for the Pens scoring lead.  Mats Zuccarello (2-4-6) led the Rangers.

Nov. 6 at MSG: Rangers win 5-1. Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle (plus an assist) and Ryan Callahan had the goals. Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves. 

Dec. 18 at MSG. Rangers lose 4-3 in shootout; Lundqvist made 29 saves through overtime and stopped four of five in the shootout. Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello and Derek Brassard scored. Kunitz had a goal and assist for the Pens.

Jan. 3 in Pittsburgh. Rangers lose 5-2. Pens led 4-0 after two periods. Kunitz scored twice; Zuccarello and McDonagh scored for the Blueshirts.

Feb. 7 in Pittsburgh. Rangers win 4-3 in shootout. In the final game before the Olympic break, Benoit Pouliot scored twice, Dan Girardi once, and Brad Richards won it in the shootout.  Lundqvist (26 saves) stopped two of three in the shootout.


Special teams

Overall, the Rangers power play was 3 for 16 in the four games; the penalty-kill stopped 9 of 14 Penguins power plays.


Past Encounters

The Rangers have never beaten the Penguins in four playoff series and are 4-16.

They haven’t faced them since 2008, when they were eliminated 4-1 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Blueshirts, who had defeated New Jersey 4-1 in the quarterfinals, lost the first two games in Pittsburgh 5-4 and 2-0, and the third at MSG, 5-3. They took the fourth game at MSG 3-0 behind two goals from Jaromir Jagr and Lundqvist’s shutout, then dropped Game 5, 3-2, when Marian Hossa scored in the first overtime.  The Penguins lost to the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final. 

In 1996, the Pens also ousted the Rangers 4-1 in the Conference Semifinals. The Rangers only won the second game, in Pittsburgh, 6-3. They were outscored in the four others, 18-9, as Mario Lemieux and Jagr combined for 15 goals in the series.

In 1992, the Pens took the Division Finals 4-2. They swept the Rangers in the division semifinals in 1989. In that series, goaltender Mike Richter made his debut in Game 4.


                                         PENS                  NYR

LEAGUE OVERALL            6TH                        12TH

DIVISION                               1st                         2nd

CONFERENCE                      2nd                        5th

GOALS FOR                         5TH (242)               T-18 (214)

GOALS AGAINST                10TH (204)            4TH (190)

POWER PLAY                       1ST 23.4 %           15TH (18.2%)

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