Penguins secure No. 4 seed with win over Rangers
One of the most highly anticipated first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series in Penguins' history will begin at Consol Energy Center next week.
The Penguins will battle the Philadelphia Flyers, and thanks to their 5-2 victory against the New York Rangers, they will have home-ice advantage as the No. 4 seed.
"It's going to be unbelievable," said right wing Arron Asham, who played for the Flyers when the Penguins beat them on their way to winning the 2009 Stanley Cup.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has been terrific all season and reached a milestone in the victory against the Rangers.
With his 226th career win, Fleury has moved into a tie with Tom Barrasso for most victories in Penguins history.
Fleury is only 27.
The Penguins and Flyers will meet in the first round, but should Dan Bylsma's team face the Rangers in the postseason, there will be bad blood.
Rangers coach John Tortorella made sure of it.
With 4:39 remaining in the third period, Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik was ejected for a knee-on-knee hit to Derek Stepan. Although he remained on the ice for a minute, Stepan left the ice under his own power.
Tortorella bashed the Penguins after the game.
"It's one of the most arrogant organizations in the league," Tortorella said. "They whine about this stuff all the time, and look what happens. It's a cheap, dirty hit. I wonder what would happen if we did that to their two whining stars. But they'll whine about something else over there, won't they• Starting with their two (expletive) whining stars."
Bylsma was mild-mannered in his response.
It was suggested to Bylsma that opposing coaches already are working referees, should a playoff series with the Penguins come.
"I'm not sure how much the referees pay attention to that," Bylsma said.
Bylsma did not take a critical view of Orpik's hit, instead implying his defenseman couldn't help but hit Stepan awkwardly because of a move Stepan made at the last second.
-- Penguins, 1-0 (1:11): LW Chris Kunitz used his skate to redirect a shot by D Kris Letang from the right point.
-- Rangers, 1-1 (4:23): C Brandon Dubinsky buried the rebound of C Brian Boyle's shot from the right faceoff circle.
-- Penguins, 2-1 (8:27): RW Tyler Kennedy blasted a sharp-angle shot past G Martin Biron from left of the net.
-- Penguins, 3-1 (5:11): RW Richard Park stuffed a shot between Biron and the left post that slipped across the goal line.
-- Penguins, 4-1 (9:06): Kunitz passed from behind the net to C Evgeni Malkin, who snapped a shot between Biron's pads.
-- Rangers, 4-2 (17:46): C Brian Boyle shoveled in the rebound of D Dan Girardi's shot from the blueline.
-- Penguins, 5-2 (19:11): D Kris Letang scored an empty-net goal with a shot from his own blueline.
Pens vs. Rangers 4⁄5/12
The Pittsburgh Penguins win 5-2 over the New York Rangers, Thursday, April 5, 2012 at Consol Energy Center.