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The ‘go from there’ begins nows for #Pens. Plus, Malkin on his play and full #TribHKY linkage.

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Well, everybody in Pittsburgh is breathing easier on this Monday, right?

Quite a scene that was in Uniondale, N.Y., on Saturday night; aside from the 2009 Cup Final, I’m not sure I’ve seen a Penguins squad of The Crosby Era so joyously celebrate a series win.

The New Your Islanders gave the East favorites everything they had, and the suspicion here is the Penguins were battling more than just the Islanders all along. They were given a mandate by management to win four games.

“Then go form there,” general manager Ray Shero said after acquiring RW Jarome Iginla in March.

The Penguins had not won four playoff games in one postseason since April 2010.

Another way of looking at it: 37 months had passed since the Penguins had won a playoff series.

Yeah, there was pressure.

Of most intrigue now is how this deep and driven club plays in Round 2 with that gorilla having been shoved into its cage.

The Senators will be a different kind of challenge, and here is your first scouting report on the East semifinal: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4005798-74/senators-penguins-round#axzz2TBAwnw2D

By the way, there is no start date yet for the series because the rest of the East is still playing. The Capitals host the Rangers in Game 7 tonight, while the Bruins will try to fend off the Maple Leafs in another Game 7.

So, if you’re like me and fearing an unnecessary twist in the Robin-Barney saga on the season finale of “How I Met Your Mother,” there is some fine elimination puck action to keep you distracted.

= Evgeni Malkin shared some honest, earnest thoughts on his play with me after Game 6. The story: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4005794-74/malkin-penguins-game#axzz2TBAwnw2D

= Columnist Dejan Kovacevic joins the Great Goalie Debate: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4005032-74/vokoun-game-anderson#axzz2TBAwnw2D

= Josh Yohe checks in with another local product getting set to take the NHL by storm: http://triblive.com/sports/nhl/4005949-74/trocheck-season-nhl#axzz2TBAwnw2D

= The #TribHKY review of Round 1: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4005801-74/penguins-scored-period#axzz2TBAwnw2D

OK, dear readers, the club returns to practicing today; but somebody is set for a super-fun MRI of his own ailing shoulder.

Josh will lead coverage. Maybe Matt Cooke will be a story? (Hmmm…)

 

Cheers,

Rossi

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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