New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils

Marian Gaborik leaves game with concussion; did Rangers ignore his condition?

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Today’s Rangers 4-2 loss to Philadelphia ends up hurting them in more ways than in just the standings. Underachieving superstar goal scorer Marian Gaborik left today’s game with a concussion.

There’s a catch in the whole matter, however, because after the game Rangers coach John Tortorella said that the injury may not have happened during today’s game.

Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants gets the word from Tortorella in what should once again re-ignite the discussion about concussions.

“It didn’t happen this game, I’m not sure when it happened,” Tortorella said at first, before softening those comments. “He’s been off and on. I don’t know when it happened.”

“Gaborik was playing along,” Tortorella said, adding Gaborik came out of today’s day after complaining of being off, which, Tortorella said, was the first time Gaborik had given the Rangers any concrete indication. “I know he’s had some conversations off the ice, he just wasn’t dead on. But that’s something we’re going to have to talk to him and Rammer (trainer Jim Ramsey) about.”

The Rangers don’t have a timetable for how long Gaborik will be out, but considering they weren’t totally sure what was wrong with him in the first place (or willfully ignored it) expect them to be even more careful in how they treat him now that they’re absolutely sure what the problem is. As with most stories concerning concussions these days, it makes us think about how things were handled with Sidney Crosby. Crosby played against Tampa Bay and was hit by Victor Hedman in the next game after getting hit hard by Washington’s Dave Steckel during the Winter Classic.

If the Rangers ignored Gaborik’s condition or if Gaborik wasn’t open with his trainers about what was bothering him, this makes matters a lot worse for New York as they can’t afford to lose any offense from their lineup. While Gaborik has struggled this season, taking a player out of the lineup with his abilities hurts. If his initial injury was ignored somehow, the way team’s handle concussions and concussion-like symptoms are going to be focused in on with much finer detail. Either way, the Rangers lose out and their struggles of late will just be made worse without Gaborik.

Video: Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.

Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.

The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.

Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.

But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.

“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.