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Sather on the Rangers being eliminated: “It’s like having a death in the family.”

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The Stanley Cup finals kicked off on Wednesday and the New York Rangers weren’t part of it. That’s a fact that Rangers GM Glen Sather is struggling to put behind him.

“We just got knocked out a couple of days ago,” said Sather said. “It’s tough enough to go to bed at night and get up the next morning. You’ve got to adjust. It’s like having a death in the family.”

For the Rangers, the question now shifts to their summer plans. Ideally, they would love another top-tier scorer, like, say, Columbus’ Rick Nash, but that’s easier said than done though.

The problem isn’t if the Rangers have the trade chips to make something happen or if they can lure a star talent to New York. The issue is that the Rangers, according to cap geek, already have $49,183,334 committed to 15 players next season. That’s not including Wade Redden, who would come with a $6.5 million annual cap hit if he was allowed to return from the AHL.

The Rangers can certainly make a big splash and stay under the cap, but they might have to get a bit creative to do so. Of course, the availability of star talent will be another potential road block.

“I would like to have a 60-goal scorer, I’d like to have a defenseman that could play 25 minutes and get 25 goals, I’d like to have a goaltender that could be under one goal-against per game,” Sather said. “Those are wish lists that every team in this league would like to have. Realistically, there are some people that are going to be available, but they’re not available until July 1.”

As far as the free agent market goes, it could be headlined by Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, but there’s still plenty of time for them to re-sign with their respective teams.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.