What started out ugly ended beautifully for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 last night against the New York Rangers. It was all Rangers in the early going, racing out to a 2-0 lead before Jake Guentzel scored a pair to even the score. The Rangers went ahead again on a shorthanded goal only for Bryan Rust to tie it up late in the second. Over an entire game of hockey later and an unexpected goalie change, Evgeni Malkin scored in triple overtime to give the Penguins the victory and an early series lead. [Pensburgh]
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Tuesday night marked the beginning for the second half of first round series which means the second half of our first round pick arrived as well. It’s looking like all chalk in these matchups with some short series possibly on the horizon. [Pensburgh]
While the mood from the Penguins fan base entering this showdown with the Rangers is anything but positive, the mood inside the locker room is decidedly different. Knowing what it took to get here, the Penguins believe they have what it takes to win. [Trib Live]
Playoff series outcomes can often times come down to individual matchups and who best exploits them. While it’s clear the Rangers have a matchup advantage in goal, there are areas the Penguins excel at themselves. [Trib Live]
For as long as the Penguins are alive in the playoffs, much will be made about this possibly being the last playoff run for Crosby, Malkin, and Letang as teammates. A lot of ink will be spilled in the coming weeks, but it’s best to just enjoy the ride. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Casey DeSmith will not be the first unproven goalie to take the ice for the Penguins in the playoffs, in fact, Penguins lore is filed with these kind of stories. One story stands out in particular and here’s to hoping DeSmith can put on a repeat performance. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
It was the usual suspects doing most of the damage for the Penguins in Game 1, but long term success these playoffs will depend on help from their depth. [Hockey Buzz]
News and notes from around the NHL...
From a game where illegal hits counted, Kyle Clifford of the Toronto Maple Leafs was suspended one game for boarding Ross Colton of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first period the Toronto’s Game 1 victory. [NHL]