At home, the Penguins beat the Rangers 5-2, powered by goals from five different players and 35 saves from Marc Andre Fleury.
The game got testy late in the third period when Penguins defenseman and assistant captain, Brooks Orpik, seemingly initiated knee-to-knee contact with Rangers center Derek Stepan.
Orpik was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the incident.
According to Penguins beat writers, the league has not yet contacted Orpik, but a penalty and/or fine is expected.
Because the Penguins only have one more regular season game left, the length of suspension, if doled out, will be crucial — especially since they face a physical series against rival Philadelphia.
After the game, Rangers head coach John Tortorella was livid with Orpik, telling reporters, "It's a cheap, dirty it. I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there. I wonder what would happen...Just not respect amongst players. None. It's sickening."
Other notes from last night's game and the push toward the playoffs:
- Evgeni Malkin recorded his 49th goal of the season. He added an assist for 107 points on the season, now 11 points more than Steve Stamkos (96). The goal extended his career high mark, which was previously 47 in 2007-08.
- The Penguins locked up the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, pitting them against the Flyers in the first round. Pittsburgh holds the all-important home-ice advantage.
- Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist did not play as he rested an ailing arm injury as the team heads into the playoffs.
Ryan O'Leary is a writer and researcher for Bleacher Report's Video Production Department with seven years experience in the sports industry.