5 Ways for the Pittsburgh Penguins to Shock the New York Rangers

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Mar 29, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) waits to take a face-off against the San Jose Sharks during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

To say that the end of the 2014-2015 NHL season was humbling for the Pittsburgh Penguins would be a laughable understatement.

A trip to the postseason, once viewed as an inevitability, was only secured in the 82nd game of the season with a 2-0 victory over the last-place Buffalo Sabres. The win finally stopped the bleeding of a five game losing streak, but the score line was deceptive as the Penguins truly struggled to overpower the abysmal Sabres.

Toss in a laundry list of injuries to the defensive corps, an amazing inability to thread pucks into the net, and a power play prone to giving up shorthanded goals, and not too many people are hopeful for Pittsburgh’s chances against the Presidents Trophy-winning New York Rangers.

But, hockey has a funny way of not always following the narrative we expect, especially when the playoffs roll around. While their prospects are not great, if the Penguins are able to have these five keys fall in their favor, they can turn these series expectations on their head and upset their formidable opponent.