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Pens Points: Bring on the Playoffs

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Pens battle Rangers for the third consecutive postseason, and a long-time competitor passes away.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning one and all,

After last night's games concluded, we know we'll be facing the New York Rangers for the third consecutive postseason. The Stanley Cup field is set, and here are all the dates, times and TV schedule info. [USA Today]

Yes! The Pens will wear the Pittsburgh gold uniforms for all playoff home games. Yesyesyesyes. Also, all playoff practices will be closed to the public. [Penguins]

No Maatta news on the horizon, but still the Pens defense has done pretty well following the monster lead of Kris Letang. What's the plan for the playoffs? [Trib]

There are quite a few players on the Pens who've never played in Stanley Cup playoffs. How will they respond to the challenge? [PPG]

The Islanders lost to the Flyers and set themselves up for a matchup against the Panthers. Here is your playoff series preview. [Sportsnet]

Now that the regular season is over, we can start analyzing the entire bodies of work for regular season awards. First up is the Vezina. What do the in-depth numbers tell us about the candidates? [In Goal Magazine]

Not really unexpected news that Sens' Bryan Murray is stepping into an advisory role, and Pierre Dorion takes over as GM. [CBC]

The Bruins unraveling was fast and quiet. Changes are probably coming there as well. I don't think they should pin this one on Claude Julien, given the defensive corps Sweeney has assembled for him, but we shall see. [CBS Boston]

This isn't official yet, but the sixth longest-tenured GM in the NHL will be out as well, as Arizona Coyotes are rumored to part ways with Don Maloney. [NBC Sports]

So Pavel Datsyuk is leaving the Red Wings after the season to return to Russia after all. He's skipping out on his contract, so next time you think poorly of Radulov or Kovalchuk, add Datsyuk to that bucket as well, nicest guy in the world or not. [Detroit Free Press]

For the end, a huge loss for hockey as Ed Snider passed away earlier today after a long battle with cancer. He was the heart and soul of the Philadelphia Flyers and kids play hockey on so many rinks here because of his passion. I met him once, in a waiting room of an outpatient lab of all places; he noticed a big Pens sticker on my iPad and we had a really nice conversation. Sincere condolences to his family and the Flyers organization. [ESPN]