RECAP: The battle lines have been drawn. PENS WIN.

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The Pens didn't have Neal, and the Rangers didn't have Lundqvist.  The Rangers are obviously resting up the King for the playoffs.  This game will mean absolutely nothing the next time these two teams meet. 
Got two weeks of a full-scale Philadelphia hatefest coming up.  It will be an all-out war on the ice, in the stands, and on the Internet. Batten down the hatches.

This game means like 5 things.  They are after the jump.

 

1.) The Pens locked up home ice for the first-round matchup against Philly.  Huge.  Hartnell's quotes about not being afraid to play in CONSOL probably pumped his team up even more, wanting to prove Hartnell right.  Great veteran move.  But still…it's home ice.  When Double J scores the OT goal in Game 6 to send this series to 7, that game will be played in Pittsburgh.  It will matter. Although the last two years home ice has seen two Game 7 loses. 

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2.) We will all sit in anxiety as we wait for Shanahan's V For Vendetta video on Brooks Orpik.  It really is up in the air.  We're thinking a 2-game suspension, including Game One.   Not saying we agree with it.  Just what we think it's gonna be.  Look at the Orpik hit and then Mike Rupp's knee to Jordan Staal earlier this season:

3.) The Pens are getting the reputation of being knee-to-knee'ers.  When someone pulls that card on you, there's really nothing you can say.

4.) Now that everything is locked up, we should expect to see Johnson in net on Saturday, right?  Given his overall season, the Pens coaches should really let him see as much ice time as he can get.  But a sticky situation lies.  MAF is 1(one) win away from breaking Tom Barrasso's all-time franchise win record and tying Barrasso's single-season win record.  Beej should definitely be getting the start, though.  Will make the season opener next year exciting.  MAF should've made some more saves vs. Philly.  joke.

5.) You know what is really cool? The fact that Crosby and Kunitz are working their balls off to make sure Malkin gets 50 goals. He talked about it in his postgame press conference. Malkin got 49 last night. One last chance. Only 6 Russian players all-time have scored 50 goals.

One regular season cap left. God help us all.
 

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