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Penguins notebook: Orpik, Gibbons remain out of lineup in Game 1 against Rangers

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By Josh Yohe and Jason Mackey
Friday, May 2, 2014, 8:45 p.m.
 

The longest-tenured Penguins player remained out of the lineup as the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs opened at Consol Energy Center against the New York Rangers on Friday.

Defenseman Brooks Orpik, after never missing a playoff game, has missed three straight following an injury suffered in Game 4 against Columbus or in an ensuing practice before Game 5 of that first-round series.

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo again replaced Orpik in the lineup.

It remains unknown when Orpik will return to the lineup.

He was seen on an exercise bike before Game 6 in Columbus, but has not skated with the team since leaving practice early last week at Southpointe.

Right wing Brian Gibbons also remained out. He hasn't played since Game 2 against Columbus.

No big deal

Having previously coached the Vancouver Canucks, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault is accustomed to long flights and brutal travel schedules.

Which is why he's not exactly worried about his team playing three games in four nights to start the series. Or five in seven when one includes the Rangers' first-round series against the Flyers.

“I come from the West,” Vigneault said. “Travel out here is pretty easy. So I'm not really overly concerned about three games in four nights with this traveling.”

‘Bob' and ‘King'

For the second series in a row, the Penguins will face a Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender.

Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky won the award in 2012-13, and the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist won it the previous year.

“In the playoffs, in general, you have to understand that you're going to be playing against good goalies,” Penguins center Sidney Crosby said. “We've been on that side with ‘Flower,' and you see the boost we get when he makes some big saves.”

Power outage

The Rangers entered Friday's game with an ailing power play. After converting three times in their first eight chances against the Flyers, the Rangers haven't scored in their past 21 opportunities with the man-advantage.

That equates to a 10.3-percent success rate, which was third-worst among teams in the opening round.

Not that Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is overlooking anything.

“They had three goals in their first two games, and I'm pretty sure you guys were talking about how good they were,” Bylsma said. “Six days later, we're talking about something different because they go an extended period of time without getting a goal.

“I think it's fickle to look at the power play from game to game, series to series.”

Miller healthy scratch

Rangers forward and Moon native J.T. Miller, one of four local players selected in the first three rounds of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, was a healthy scratch for Game 1 against the Penguins.

Miller has shown flashes at the NHL level, but hasn't yet been able to become a regular with the Rangers. In 56 career NHL games, Miller has produced five goals and 10 points. He played in two games against the Flyers in the first round, recording two assists.

Off the radar

Right wing Arron Asham, while still being paid by the Rangers, is not on their postseason roster.

Asham played two seasons with the Penguins before signing a two-year, $2 million contract in 2012. He played six games with the Rangers this season and 26 more with the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford.

Welcome back

Former Penguins goalie coach Gilles Meloche, who works as a scout for the Penguins, sat in general manager Ray Shero's booth during Game 1 against the Rangers.

Josh Yohe and Jason Mackey are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach Yohe at jyohe@tribweb.com or JoshYohe_Trib. Reach Mackey at jmackey@tribweb.com or @Mackey_Trib.

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