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Pens/Rangers Recap: Pens rest up big time, lose game but look to playoffs

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The Penguins pretty much rest all their main players, and lose 3-2 on the road in New York to the Rangers in the regular season finale that meant nothing to either team.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


If last night the Pens had an AHL bottom 6 forward group...Tonight they basically have an AHL lineup, except Nick Bonino, Patric Hornqvist and Phil Kessel up front. On defense Olli Maatta is back for his first game since February and Derrick Pouliot is back up too.

Congrats to Jean-Sebastien Dea and Tristan Jarry to make their respective NHL career debuts. No matter the circumstance always great to see years of hard work pay off and dreams come true to play in the NHL.

Of note the players Pittsburgh is resting include: Sidney Crosby, Matt Murray, Conor Sheary, Justin Schultz, Ian Cole, Bryan Rust and Matt Cullen. And injured Evgeni Malkin stays out too. Has to kind of sting for Cole, right? It's the first game he's missed all season. He deserves the night off but for a warrior like that it almost seems like he should have been able to go the distance. This is why I'm not the coach.

1st period

Bonino scores the game's first goal from right in front. 18th of the season which for as disappointing a season he had is still not all that bad for a grand total.

Jarry shows off some athleticism and good for him.

Ryan McDonagh ties it up for the Rangers soon after though and Derek Stepan adds a power play goal later in the first to give NYR a 2-1 lead. Fun for them but it's meaningless, who cares.

Pens up 12-6 in the shot battle but down 2-1 where it counts.

2nd period

Carter Rowney scores his 3rd goal of the season with a nice move after finding space in the zone to tie it at 2.

Shots 17-13 Pittsburgh after 2.  Both teams are pretty much just going through the motions since neither has anything to play for.

3rd period

Jimmy Vesey scores what ends up as the GWG.

Some Thoughts

  • No real analysis for this one. A pure rest game to get it over with and look towards the playoffs.
  • Phil Kessel ends up the only Penguin to play all 82 games. Not bad for a guy having hand surgery in July. And for what most fans would think is an underwhelming season, Phil still ends up with 70 points, good enough for 17th in the entire league. Seems like he could have had more but still only 16 guys in the circuit scored more points, so...
  • Crosby wins his 2nd career Maurice Richard trophy for most goals in the league with 44 goals. Great for Sid but kind of sad that "40 is the new 50" in terms of star players goal totals across the NHL.
  • So difficult to make it to the NHL, and even though this game had no meaning it, cool to see so many young and non-regulars get a chance to get in an NHL game. And at the Garden too, no less. Even though as fans we've already forgotten about this game there's a lot of players (and their loved ones) who will hold this as a special day.

Playoffs next week and the lineup will be very, very different. Get your mind right, yo.