The Pittsburgh Penguins were able to dispose of the New York Rangers on Thursday night by the score of 5-2, which allowed them to clinch the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference and give the Pens Home Ice for at least the first round. But it was a hit in the third period that had the Ranger’s most upset.
Brooks Orpik was called for a Kneeing major and a game misconduct penalty at the 15:21 mark of the period on Derek Stepan. Stepan was down for a bit but was able to limp off the ice and was seen laughing a bit on the bench. His coach on the other hand was not laughing at all. Here is a quote from his post game comments.
“It’s a cheap, dirty hit,” Tortorella said. “I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there. I wonder what would happen. So I’m anxious to see what happens with the league with this. Just not respect amongst players. None. It’s sickening.”
“They whine about this stuff all of the time, and look what happens?” Tortorella said. “It’s ridiculous. But they’ll whine about something else over there, won’t they?”
The Pens are still waiting to hear from the League on the hit, but with one game left in the season, one could expect a 1 game suspension to go along with a fine. If they were to just fine him for the hit, the most they could fine him for is $2500 which, as I have mentioned in the past, is no real deterrent. I can agree with a lot of what the Ranger’s coach has to say here though he later went on to talk about how the Penguins Organization was the most arrogant in all of Hockey. That kind of talk is clearly just sour grapes. That said, the players have to take some responsibility for the lack of respect they have for each other.
The Penguins started the scoring off early last night with a Chris Kunitz goal to make it 1-0. Brandon Dubinsky scored on a wrist shot nearly 3 minutes later at the 4:23 mark of the period to tie things up. Tyler Kennedy was able to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead about 4 minutes later. Richard park added a goal at the 5:11 mark of the second period to give the Pens a 3-1 lead. Evgeni Malkin was able to stretch the lead to 4-1 midway through the 3rd period with a wrist shot passed Biron. Artem Anisimov was able to get a power play tip in late in the period to draw the Rangers within 2 goals, 4-2. Kris Letang was able to score a short handed empty netter with less than a minute left to finish off the Rangers.
The Penguins go into Saturday’s game with absolutely nothing to play for. The Flyer’s, their opponent on Saturday has nothing to play for either so it will be interesting to see who actually plays in the game.