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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Penguins 4, Rangers 2, Game 4

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

NEW YORK — Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game 4: Penguins vs. New York Rangers, Stanley Cup playoffs, second round

Series: Penguins, 2-1

Time: 7:40 p.m.

Site: Madison Square Garden

TV, radio: NBC Sports (national), 105.9 the X

Here’s the official live summary.

Here are TribLIVE’s Penguins page and our Chipped Ice blog. Rob Rossi, Josh Yohe and I are covering for the Trib, as well as staff photographer Chaz Palla.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Karen22 says:

    Gooooooooooooooooooooooo PENS!!

  2. MarkV says:

    In light of Rossi’s story today, team chemistry does mean something. I don’t remember hearing about this until after the season was over and some comments about Iginla not being comfortable in his time with the Pens. So what is different this year, that the factions aren’t present ( at least not reported)? Are there definite lessons to be learned from last season regarding team chemistry in general or is it something specific to certain individuals. Seems like there should be more to the story.
    I know Rossi didn’t write the headline, but the use of the word “finally” is an interesting choice.

  3. radio wave says:

    I like bagels, but not on the scoreboard. Of course I want a win, but is 1 goal too much to ask?

  4. radio wave says:

    If Pens move on, who do you want next?

  5. Bizrow says:

    Pens in 5

    • • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation

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    • 5/7/2014 5:41 PM

  6. theplanisworking says:


  7. theplanisworking says:


    Pens not built properly to beat Broonz.
    Sad but true fact.

  8. DJ says:

    Noticed this post-season we’re back to blocking shots, particularly of the “prime chance” variety.

    Was common in the 2009 Cup run and starkly absent the last few years. Good to see we’re laying out for a few.

  9. theplanisworking says:


  10. theplanisworking says:

    Don’t know if I will be able to see the game tonight.
    Walking the dog is a 2-hour endeavor anymore.

    Rangers will be desperate tonight. They realize that they cannot afford to go down 3-1 to our Pens. Pens will have to really buckle down on D, and not give up sofffffffff goals. I see the Rangers coming out flying to start the game, and pepper Fleury with shots. If the Pens can survive the 1st, that will bear well for the game.

    I will also save any comments for coach Bylsma…….. been reading a lot lately that any criticism of him is equivalent to being a ‘hater’. What an absolute joke that is. People can’t offer criticisms without being labeled a ‘hater’. I wish him the best every game, because that means the Pens win!! But whatever……. end of the season we shall see what we shall see.

    In the meantime……….. GO PENS !!!!!!!!!!

  11. DJ says:

    Everyone heralded the moves at the time but, in hindsight, it was overkill. In a quiet moment, I’m thinking Ray might even admit to that.

    My sense on the Iginla trade was that it was made as much to keep him from the Bruins as to help the Pens.

    Lessons learned.

  12. Andrew says:

    Boston is not the same as last year, lose of Seidenberg and Ference going to the Oilers means thier defense is a little weaker. Every Bruins game I have watched there are a least 4-5 stretch passes where a forward gets behind the D and Rask bails them out.

    That said, not time to think about the ECF yet.

  13. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pivotal game in the series. A win and it’s a commanding 3-1 advantage. A loss and it’s a whole new ballgame, so to speak.

    Jussi getting a lot of love on the national level. I’m sure his agent is happy about that.

  14. Carlos Danger says:

    I would love to think that we will keep him, but his series so far might have made him too expensive for the pens to sign. Scuderi’s contract might have ramifications like that. I bet Shero could have a mulligan on that one.

  15. BillyBaduka says:


  16. BillyBaduka says:

    Right on about the importance of the game Osh.

    Gotta play he same as they did Sunday and for 60 minutes.

    Play as a team, support one another offensively and defensively. Forwards, skate your hardest on the backcheck. Good defense begets good offensive opportunities.

    Reverted to some sloppy passing in game 3 that luckily didn’t bite them.

    Keep the focus and energy up and keep the pressure on the Rangers. This is no time to let up or look for highlight reel goals.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  17. BillyBaduka says:


    Congrats to your Wild on their win last night. Nice to see their hard work pay off with a win.

  18. JohninOshkosh says:

    They looked very good against a very good team. Good goal tending goes a looooooong way this time of year.

  19. Andrew says:

    Apparently, Orpik is on the ice for the Penguins’ warmups.

    Vigneault is has always been good at getting match ups at home, Penguins will need a sound game by some of their lesser skaters. Matta and Niskanen need to play a little better. As good as Fluery has been I wasn’t a huge fan of the third period in game three. I hope the Rangers PP is still a tire fire.

  20. theplanisworking says:

    All good points, Andrew.

    I was thinking more along the lines of Rask stonewalling them.

  21. Barb says:

    Jeremy Roenick just exhorted the Rangers to get mean and to get dirty…..Great advice jerk!

  22. Carlos Danger says:

    When orpik is healthy, who do you think will sit? I mean I think everyone wishes it would be scuderi, but who do you think will honestly realistically sit?

  23. Carlos Danger says:

    He sometimes makes me
    Miss Mike Milbury. And that is saying something.

  24. Andrew says:

    I’ve repressed those images. Boston is certainty better, the Canadians plan seems to be, lets see how many shots Price can stop and run everything through Subban. Cannot argue with the results so far.

  25. John says:

    I prefer “Miss Milbury” :)

  26. Nancy52 says:

    DK tweeted…..Orpik in, Bortuzzo out, bah humbug!

  27. Barb says:

    You knew that would happen once Brooks healed.

  28. Barb says:

    He said it to Milbury.

  29. Andrew says:



    Fluery in Net.

  30. Andrew says:

    Moot point now, I would have hope Maatta, he hasn’t been good of late and could use a day off. The Niskanen Orpik pairing would be fine and you can sort of hide the Scuderi and Borts.

    Scuderi has too much sentimental value and would never realistically be scratched. I wonder how long Orpik and Scuderi pairing will last, there is going to be a lot of shots to block.

  31. Carlos Danger says:

    Yeah that was a typo. But it works.

  32. Carlos Danger says:

    Man. No bortuzzo. Played great while on the ice. Hope that doesn’t hurt us. GO PENS!

  33. Lad 9 says:

    Infuriating. No question Borts needs to be in there ahead of Scuderi. I hope we don’t pay for this bad decision by Disco.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    Judging by the twitter reaction, you would think they just scratched Crosby. Oh, the horror.

  35. Lad 9 says:

    SCIRE!!. 71!

  36. Barb says:


  37. Carlos Danger says:

    Dude. I feel better with that goal. I just hope scuderi doesn’t play like, well, he has all year and make us pay for sitting bortuzzo. Other than that if we play like we have the past few games I am barely scared at all. Just a lil bit.

  38. Andrew says:

    This ice is terrible, rolling pucks everywhere 10 minutes in.

  39. JohninOshkosh says:

    These in game interviews with the coaches are a very odd thing for the league and network to do.

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Pens are now the #2 defensive team in this year’s playoffs. The Bruins are #1.

  41. Gene-Zo says:

    Awful shift by the 4th line/Orpik-Scuderi. gave life to Rangers and the crowd.

  42. Barb says:

    I think it is just a way to justify paying Pierre McGuire.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    Most under reported aspect of this series is that the Pens power play has been every bit as pathetic as the Rangers. Only one goal.

  44. Florida Steeler says:

    The power play is awful.

  45. Gene-Zo says:

    Hate to be so negative with a 1-0 lead, but another stupid OZ penalty.

  46. DJ says:

    So we get a little momentum and now we have Martin deferring to Letang on the PP.

    Not good . . . and ugly.

  47. DJ says:

    Yeah, but did you see their beautiful new scoreboard?

    It’s awesome.

  48. DJ says:

    Too much perimeter again on the PP.

    Nisky should be in and Letang out.

  49. hockeymonster says:

    Glad tanger is feelin it but nisky is better at getting shots thru.

  50. hockeymonster says:

    Ha. Was also about to say Piece and orpik looking solid. Since apparently no one else wants to say it.

  51. John says:

    No typo at all! I just made a proper “adjustment” to your post.

  52. Andrew says:

    Rangers have had 23 minutes to the Penguins 14, but yes PP hasn’t looked good in the post season.

  53. hockeymonster says:

    Too bad no one saw that coming…

  54. DJ says:

    Holding breath with Orpik-Scuds pairing.

    Cycling longer than Tour de France.

  55. Florida Steeler says:

    Scuderi played well the last game.

  56. hockeymonster says:

    That one shift you’re referring to was compliments of an AHL level pass by gibby in NZ which was easily picked off and led to counter and cycle by NYR.

  57. Carlos Danger says:

    Boom. Great job by you!

  58. DJ says:

    Letang has zero sense of O-zone “pockets” on PP.

  59. Florida Steeler says:

    Gibby is our cult hero but is he in over his head with the big boys?? Don’t know, just asking.

  60. hockeymonster says:

    He has his moments when you can tell he’s still adjusting. But he can be lightning in a bottle at any given time…as we’ve seen.

  61. DJ says:

    And length of cycle result of the pairing.

    Slower and slowest.

  62. Jandy says:

    I’ll drink to that ;)

  63. Jandy says:

    And the Broons are getting beat by the Habs

  64. hockeymonster says:

    But somehow +1 with a 1-0 lead…fancy that…

  65. Andrew says:

    Orpik + Scuderi + 4th line, should be avoided at all costs.

  66. Jandy says:


  67. Florida Steeler says:

    Could someone please tell me what Goc’s role is on this team??

  68. Carlos Danger says:

    Scuderi on the ice for that. Maybe not his fault. Just sayin. Would rather see bortuzzo out there.

  69. Florida Steeler says:

    Pure lack of effort being displayed by the Pens the last 15 minutes or so.

  70. Jandy says:


  71. DJ says:

    Hagelin drives straight left center lane and Nisky decides go to the point at the blue line?


  72. radio wave says:


  73. Jandy says:

    lol radio

  74. hockeymonster says:

    Jandy, get that man a cigarette.

  75. Jandy says:

    Nah, a good stiff drink is better

  76. DJ says:

    Need to guard against 70′ wrister, I guess.

  77. Florida Steeler says:

    And, Scuderi will get the blame when it clearly was not his brain fart.

  78. Jandy says:

    Besides, we don’t make anyone walk the plank on this thread, that’s on the baseball thread ;)

  79. cobra39 says:

    Anyone listening to Mike Lange? He doesn’t sound like himself today.

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    No more Orpik. Gave them only 5:15.

  81. cobra39 says:

    What is it the Pens don’t like about Bortuzzo? The good hits? The nasty edge? The nice lead pass that produced Sid’s only goal so far?

  82. Florida Steeler says:

    Only Dan knows the answer.

  83. Jandy says:

    Wish I knew, cuz I like Borts

  84. Milo Hamilton says:

    Orpik looks like he was cut by Zuccarello’s skate.

  85. Jandy says:

    Buckle Up baby!!!!

  86. hockeymonster says:

    The legend grows…

  87. Jandy says:

    The Legend of the Hobbit

  88. Barb says:

    Yes Beau Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  89. radio wave says:

    Just when you ..

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s been terrific. Adds another dimension to their penalty kill.

  91. Jandy says:

    I love him, I’m just terrified some big goon will cream him.

  92. Milo Hamilton says:

    You can’t hit what you can’t catch.

  93. hockeymonster says:

    Cant hit what you cant catch. But i also like his vision and natural offensive instincts. I’m sure he’ll want to get stronger.

  94. JohninOshkosh says:

    Milbury and Dejan agree on ineptitude of Rick Nash. Worlds are colliding. “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”

    Milbury on Nash, “I know it (puck) waffles on him but SOMETHING is always going wrong but it doesn’t waffle on him here. He doesn’t make good on anything.”

  95. hockeymonster says:

    Oh my…

  96. Jandy says:

    That’s his lucky charm…hope that doesn’t run out…

  97. Jandy says:

    Oh yours!

  98. Jandy says:


  99. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Rangers have 11 shots on goal.

  100. Jandy says:

    Sounds good to me :)

  101. JohninOshkosh says:

    Has Kevin Durant finished his MVP acceptance speech yet?

  102. Milo Hamilton says:

    Garden crowd is really giving it to Nash now.

  103. Milo Hamilton says:

    Marc Staal is a thug.

  104. Jandy says:

    I’ve always thought Nash was overrated.

  105. cobra39 says:

    Staal is a dirty player.

  106. Jandy says:

    I so want to see one of our guys let him have it.

  107. Jandy says:


  108. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here comes another speech.

  109. Andrew says:

    Pretty much.

  110. cobra39 says:

    I want to see someone light him up, but we cannot afford bad penalties.

  111. Jandy says:

    Holy crap, did you see that?

  112. Jandy says:


  113. Milo Hamilton says:

    Right off Staal’s skate. HA HA.

  114. cobra39 says:

    Off Staal. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  115. Jandy says:

    And Karma is biting Thug Marc Staal in the azzz LOL

  116. Andrew says:

    There may be justice.

  117. scapper says:

    Official scorer just gave Neal two assists on that goal.

  118. Jandy says:


  119. Jandy says:


  120. Jandy says:


  121. Milo Hamilton says:

    All around piece of dog crap shift for Mr. Staal, wasn’t it.

  122. Gene-Zo says:

    That was payback for Staal !!!

  123. Jandy says:

    it’s about time, eh?

  124. Barb says:

    Jussi is just something else.

  125. Jandy says:


  126. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’d like to update something I said earlier. The Rangers now have 12 shots.

  127. cobra39 says:

    A Pens power play late in the game and us in the lead. These make me nervous.

  128. Jandy says:

    No jinx!

  129. Florida Steeler says:

    Our power play has left the building and then–that!!!!

  130. Jandy says:


  131. Barb says:

    And he did jinx us……boo the bad guys.

  132. Florida Steeler says:


  133. Barb says:

    DK just showed on Twitter Staal going after Crosby’s head again. When will this end?

  134. Jandy says:

    AAnnnd Kunie takes care of business!

  135. cobra39 says:

    Kunitz!! That is SOOOO big!

  136. Jandy says:

    absolutely huge

  137. cobra39 says:

    Big goal!

  138. Gene-Zo says:

    WOW, 1st a bad goal seems to resurrect the Rangers, then a backbreaker 56 mins later from Kunitz!

  139. Jandy says:

    Not as long as the Garage League is in charge

  140. Florida Steeler says:

    Great pass from Malkin

  141. Milo Hamilton says:

    The only discernible strategy I’ve been able to gather from the Rangers in this series is to attack Sidney Crosby’s head. This Vigneault guy is a genius.

  142. Jandy says:


  143. Barb says:

    Great goal by Kunitz. Like Jandy said…..garage league.

  144. Jandy says:

    how many now?

  145. cobra39 says:

    In my defense, the goal came after the PP was over.

  146. Gene-Zo says:

    “56 secs”

  147. Jandy says:

    I bet King Henrik wants to slug us lol

  148. Barb says:


  149. Florida Steeler says:

    Great win

  150. cobra39 says:

    Nice win!!

  151. Florida Steeler says:

    Without him–this series would have been a lopsided event.

  152. Jandy says:


  153. Lad 9 says:

    (Clapping). Very nicely done gentlemen. Let’s wind this up Friday night!

  154. Milo Hamilton says:

    They’re playing some really good hockey. Haven’t lost a game in regulation 7-0-3.

  155. Jandy says:

    Back home to DaBurgh for Game 5!

  156. Gene-Zo says:

    And Jussi’s game winner appeared to hit Staal in the a*s and go past Lundqvist. That’s karma.

  157. Jandy says:

    Please do guys!

  158. The Pens win 3 straight! And, hopefully, they’ll make it 4 and finish the Rangers off on Friday night at Consol Center!

  159. radio wave says:

    My original prediction pens in five will hold true. Friday is a formality. Better team wins. As Rangers radio said 25 Rangers turnovers created by Pittsburgh speed and skill.

  160. scapper says:

    Anyone catch Paul Martin’s interview on the NHL channel after the game? Guy just played 30 minutes in an NHL playoff win, yet he sits just oozing poise and aplomb. No pat, cliché-ridden answers. Actually offered substance. Really speaks to the type of game he plays.

  161. Jandy says:

    He’s a super guy.

  162. Bizrow says:

    Pens in 5

    Beat Em Bucs

    Life is good ;-)

  163. Andrew says:

    Martin is a rock. Letang also played 28 minutes.

  164. DJ says:

    Someone needs to beat the living pud out of Staal.

    Total punk. Really.

  165. DJ says:

    Guessing right knee for Orpik. MCL perhaps.

    “Paging Doctor DJ . . . Doctor DJ to the ER”

  166. hockeymonster says:


    Solid 20 minutes from Piece as well.

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