The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers are each welcoming back a key player for Game 4 tonight.
Chris Kreider (hand) will return for New York after being medically cleared. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was noncommittal before the contest start when the subject of Kreider’s availability came up, but it looks like he’ll skate alongside Derek Stepan and Rick Nash, per the Bergen Record’s Andrew Gross.
Kreider hasn’t played since March 24 and the Rangers could certainly use the 23-year-old forward after being shutout of back-to-back games.
Meanwhile, the Penguins have confirmed that Brooks Orpik is ready to return from the undisclosed injury that’s kept him out of the lineup since April 23.
Orpik had a goal, an assist, and a plus-five rating in four playoff games before he was hurt. He was also averaging 23:35 minutes per contest.
He will play alongside Rob Scuderi tonight. Robert Bortuzzo has been scratched to make room.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger