Get to know playoff rivalry’s history


In two different eras, the Rangers facing the Penguins felt like a nearly annual playoff matchup.

Six years after they last met, they’ll do so again beginning Tuesday at the Garden. And though there are some holdovers (hello, Sidney Crosby) from Pittsburgh’s 4-1 first-round series victory in 2016, most of the faces involved are new to Rangers-Penguins postseason lore.

There is a rich history for them to get familiar with. The Post breaks down the seven playoff series between the two teams.

2016: Penguins beat Rangers, 4-1

Despite a face-saving Rangers victory in Game 2, this series was somewhat of a pantsing. The Penguins won each of their four games by two or more goals, including a 5-0 victory at The Garden in Game 4. Rangers backup goaltender Antti Raanta was forced into action three times in the series.

2015: Rangers beat Penguins, 4-1

This series, also in the first round, was more tightly contested, with each game decided by a goal. A pair of overtime winners, from Kevin Hayes in Game 4 and Carl Hagelin in Game 5, clinched the series for the Rangers.

Ryan McDonagh battles Sidney Crosby during the 2016 playoffs.
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2014: Rangers beat Penguins, 4-3

Perhaps the most memorable series between the two was this second-round matchup. The Rangers were down 3-1 for Game 5 in Pittsburgh, and they looked finished, when Martin St. Louis received the news his mother, France, had died of a heart attack at age 63.

St. Louis left the team to be with his family, returning to play Game 5, in which the Rangers dominated for a 5-1 win. In Game 6, on Mother’s Day at MSG, St. Louis scored the opening goal in a 3-1 victory, and in Game 7, he notched the primary assist on Brad Richards’ eventual game-winner. The Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years, though they lost to the Kings.

2008: Penguins beat Rangers, 4-1

Though the Rangers hung tight in most of the games, the Penguins had their number in this series on their way to the first of two consecutive Cup finals. The Rangers didn’t have an answer for Evgeni Malkin or Marian Hossa, who scored four times apiece over five games, with Hossa getting the second-round series clincher in overtime Game 5.

1996: Penguins beat Rangers, 4-1

Just two years removed from their Cup run, the Rangers were easily dispatched by Pittsburgh in the second round. Mario Lemieux scored eight goals in the series and Jaromir Jagr had a hat trick in the decisive Game 5 — a 7-3 victory for the Penguins on home ice.

1992: Penguins beat Rangers, 4-2

After the Rangers won the Presidents’ Trophy during the regular season, the Penguins completed an upset in the Patrick Division final on their way to a second straight Stanley Cup in a series that brought controversy and more than one memorable moment.

Adam Graves broke Lemieux’s left wrist with a slash in Game 2, which the Rangers won with three third-period goals. The NHL declined to suspend Graves for Game 3, but did ban him for Game 4, which was when the Penguins turned the series in their favor. With the Rangers leading 3-1 toward the end of the second period, Ron Francis scored at 19:54 on a shot from the neutral zone that got through Mike Richter, setting the stage for a comeback that Francis capped at 2:47 of overtime.

Pittsburgh never looked back, winning the next two games of the series to finish off the Rangers and extend the “1940” chants for another year.

1989: Penguins beat Rangers, 4-0

The decisive Game 4 was the only game in the division-semifinals series decided by one goal as the Rangers couldn’t solve goaltender Tom Barrasso, who had a .930 save percentage in the series, or Paul Coffey, who led the Penguins with nine points.

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