New York Rangers Will Face Pittsburgh Penguins, Crosby In Round 1


It has finally been revealed who the New York Rangers will play in the first round: none other than Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

As MSG Network play by play man Sam Rosen so famously shouted out one time, “the waiting is over!,” is how fans of the New York Rangers feel at this very moment.

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  • After a lengthy chuck of time not knowing who the Presidents’ Trophy winners will play in the first-round of the playoffs, they now know.

    It will be none other than Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens will head into Madison Square Garden for Game 1 on Thursday night.

    Saturday featured a slate of NHL games which quenched the thirst of even the hardest of hockey fans. 15 games were played, featuring all 30 teams, with each game meaning more towards the playoffs than the next.

    Due to the Ottawa Senators knocking off the Flyers 3-1 in Philadelphia today; the Detroit Red Wings blanking the Carolina Hurricans 2-0; and those Penguins finally coming up with a win against the lowly Buffalo Sabres, 2-0, it kept the Boston Bruins out of the postseason and placed the Pens in that No. 2 Wild Card Spot.

    Eastern Conference Playoffs:

    • Metro #1: Rangers vs Wild Card #2: Penguins
    • Metro #2: Capitals vs Metro #3: Islanders

    • Atlantic #1: Canadiens vs Wild Card #1: Senators
    • Atlantic #2: Lightning vs Atlantic #3: Red Wings

    The way the Wild Cards shook out allowed the brackets to keep both divisions completely intact for the first two rounds of the playoffs. By the time the Eastern Conference Finals rolls around, there will be a clear-cut Division Champion for both the Atlantic and Metropolitan.

    May 13, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) reacts as the New York Rangers celebrate a goal by Rangers center Brian Boyle (hidden) during the first period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won the game 2-1 and the series 4 games to 3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Another note from today included the Rangers doing their crosstown rivals, the New York Islanders, a huge favor as they didn’t allow the Washington Capitals to pick up one point. All the Isles needed to do was defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets to gain home-ice advantage in the first-round.

    They couldn’t capitalize, losing 5-4 in a shootout.

    Regardless, it will be the Pens who Alain Vigneault and the Rangers will now start to prep for. A team who surely still has that bitter taste in their mouths after choking up a 3-1 series lead during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. A Crosby-led squad full of promise who was so suddenly destroyed by a “team of destiny,” coming together after the death of Marty St. Louis’ mother.

    The Blueshirts dominated Pittsburgh during this 2014-15 season. They finished 3-0-1 with a sparkling 16 goals scored during those four contests.

    There’s no question this Penguins team is no longer that squad who possessed the heart of a champion five-plus years ago. After a decent run for most of the season, they faltered down the stretch and barely made it into the tournament, finishing 3-5-2 during their last 10.

    Quite possibly, they are the weakest team heading into the playoffs – not to mention sporting an extremely shaky postseason goalie in Marc-Andre Fluery.

    The journey begins now. 16 wins to greatness.

    Still, they have Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who still represent two of the greatest hockey talents in the world.

    After witnessing the best Rangers regular season in the organization’s history – with 53 wins and 113 points – the real season officially starts now.

    The Presidents’ Trophy is a major accomplishment, make no mistake about it. However, this is a team with higher aspirations. They are a team who has the words Stanley Cup Champions on their mission statement.

    The journey begins now. 16 wins to greatness.

    Next: Rangers Grab 53rd Win For Franchise Record

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