It’s hard to recall the last time the Pittsburgh Penguins were not featured on the opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs. This season, they will get an extra day of rest before beginning their series against the New York Rangers. This will be the first playoff meeting between the two sides since 2016, a series the Penguins won in five games before going on to win the Stanley Cup.
First Pens Points of May has all the playoff hype you need...
Before anything else, here’s a reminder of the series schedule for the Penguins an Rangers set to begin tomorrow night in New York City. Games are every other day with the Penguins set to host Games 3 & 4 on Saturday and Monday. [Pensburgh]
Sunday provided our first look at what the Penguins and Rangers may be rolling out in terms of lineups. Crosby, Guentzel, and Rust are reunited on the Penguins top line with Rakell on the second line with Malkin. [Pensburgh]
Though the teams have been trending in opposite directions as of late, on paper, this series is pretty even. As has been seen much of the season, the Penguins hold an advantage at 5-on-5 while the Rangers have a big edge in between the pipes. [Pensburgh]
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang have done it all together on the ice, but their story isn’t quite finished yet. In what could be their final Stanley Cup run as a trio, they hope to etch their names in glory once again. [Trib Live]
One of the key figures to any potential Penguins playoff run will not lace up a pair of skates at any point, instead, he will be the one calling the shots. Already with two Stanley Cups under his belt as Penguins bench boss, Mike Sullivan is looking to lead another title run. [Trib Live]
A missed empty net opportunity by Brock McGinn on Friday night made Penguins franchise history. McGinn’s miss stole an assist from Jake Guentzel that could have given him the team lead in points. Instead, Guentzel tied with Sidney Crosby to the honor. [Pensburgh]
As always with the Penguins, injury concerns have forced the team to make some roster adjustments as they prepare for the playoffs. Forward Drew O’Connor was recalled on Saturday but his status for Game 1 remains a question mark. [Penguins]
Those previously mentioned injury concerns will result in a few key names being out when the series begins on Tuesday. Goaltender Tristan Jarry and forward Jason Zucker will both miss at least games 1 and 2 and are listed as day-to-day. [Penguins]
If you’re looking to have a little additional fun this playoff season, consider joining our Pensburgh bracket challenge. This has become an annual tradition where you can compete against fellow Pensburgh readers and writers. [Pensburgh]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Playoffs begin to night with a four game slate starting at 7:00 PM with the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins. Tuesday marks the start of the other four series. [NHL]