Like their captain Crosby, Penguins resort to shenanigans when down

NYR and Pens scrum at end of game 3 (NHL)

NYR and Pens scrum at end of game 3 (NHL)

Did everyone notice how in the first period of yesterday’s game the Penguins were mindful of the crease and trying to stay disciplined? Now, did you notice as soon as the Rangers went up by two goals they got frustrated and resorted to tomfoolery?

This is when it all started. At 6:37 of the second period, Henrik Lundqvist made a routine stop and held the puck. A frustrated Sidney Crosby skated by and if you watch closely changes his route to bump Lundqvist in the head.

Now, some fans are claiming he never touched Lundqvist and it was embellished. Others say the contact was from Keith Yandle but the video clearly shows the intent. I mean, why wouldn’t Crosby skate to his right after the whistle? I guess it depends on what color your glasses are. If you wear Yellow and Black, you won’t see it. Or in this case Black and White like the refs who refuse to call a penalty on anything Crosby does.

Needless to say, after this play the Penguins really followed the lead of their captain. More and more the Penguins started bumping and running into Lundqvist. Penguins players started taking liberties and it finally culminated in a scrum at the end of the game that left Dominic Moore bloodied.

Alain Vigneault was frustrated with the bumping on Lundqvist and said, “I’ve pointed it out. What else can I do?” The coach was eluding to the refs having to make the call. Other Rangers noticed too.

[su_quote cite=”NYDN” url=”″]“Nothing was said,” Lundqvist said of Crosby’s bump. “It’s ongoing, every game, from most of their guys, and I expect it at this time of year – some slashes and cross-checks. It doesn’t really bother me.”[/su_quote]

If Crosby was the ring leader last night, Chris Kunitz was his right hand man. After a great game 2 by both players, the clamps were back on them and they lashed out. Kunitz bumped Lundqvist a few times, to which Henrik said, “I had two crosschecks to the face…but it’s expected with how he plays.”

Carl Hagelin was pretty disgusted with Kunitz as well, especially after his assault on Dom Moore. “What they did to Dom was kind of dirty, so hopefully they look at that. He was bleeding everywhere.” Don’t hold your breath for the league to look at anything.

As for the officiating crew last night of Kelly Sutherland and Francis Charron, they called a fair and balanced game. Each team received two power plays and they also issued offsetting minors twice. Which was good because it allowed the players to the decide the game. However, the crew for game 4 needs to establish that any unnecessary contact on a goaltender will not be tolerated.

If the Rangers learned anything they didn’t already know about Pittsburgh last night, it’s that when they’re down they are off their game. For the Rangers, getting a lead early is a priority, not for the obvious good it does to have the lead, but to frustrate their players into taking undisciplined penalties.

Should the Rangers power play click at all in this series, this could be over by Friday night at Madison Square Garden.



Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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