In order for the New York Rangers to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in three years, the club is going to have to do something its never done before: beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs. The Rangers hope to strike first in this fifth postseason meeting between the franchises, as they visit Pittsburgh for Fridays Game 1 battle at CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins are 4-0 all-time in postseason series against the Blueshirts and boast a 16-4 record over those four playoff encounters. The only time New York was able to post more than one win in a series against the Pens was in the 1992 Division Finals, when Pittsburgh downed the Rangers in six games en route to its second straight Stanley Cup title. The most recent playoff encounter was in the 2008 conference semifinals when Pittsburgh ousted the Rangers in five games. New York, which made the conference finals in 2012, is in the second round for the third straight season after beating Philadelphia in seven games in the opening round. Home-ice advantage came in handy for the Blueshirts, as they claimed a 2-1 win at Madison Square Garden in the final test against the Flyers, improving to 6-0 all-time in Game 7s on home ice. In this round, however, the Rangers will have to prove they can win on the road against the Metropolitan Division champion Penguins. "Were battle-tested and ready for the next series," said Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault. "Philly was a real tough opponent, and you have to give them credit, it was a great series, but we know if you look on paper Pittsburgh is probably one of the best teams in the league. They were (13) points ahead of us in the regular season, so were going to have our hands full." The Pens and Rangers split four meetings during the 2013-14 campaign, with both teams recording 2-1-1 records. New York had lost five straight in Pittsburgh before ending that road slide with a 4-3 shootout win on Feb. 7. Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday in the Steel City, while New York gets to host the third meeting on Monday. Fatigue could be an issue for the Rangers at the start of this series, as New York will have played five games in a span of seven days through Game 3 of this set. The Pens, on the other hand, had three full days of rest heading into Game 1. Pittsburgh is in the second round after beating Columbus in six games during the conference quarterfinals. The Pens are after a second straight trip to the East finals after getting swept by Boston in the penultimate playoff round last spring. A big topic of conversation in the middle of the first round was Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkins lack of goal-scoring. But, after Malkin turned in a hat trick to help Pittsburgh clinch the series in Game 6, that likely puts an end to the discussion for now. Malkin ended with seven points on three goals and four assists. Crosby failed to score a goal in six games, but with six assists to his credit its difficult to say he was unproductive. Still, Crosby, the odds-on favorite to win this seasons Hart Trophy, hasnt recorded a goal in his last 11 playoff games and if he goes long without scoring one in this series it could become an issue once again. Crosby and Chris Kunitz led Pittsburgh with six points apiece during the season series with New York, with the captain notching a goal and five assists and Kunitz delivering three goals and three helpers. Malkin only played in two of the four meetings and had a goal and an assist. When things go wrong for Pittsburgh, nobody gets criticized more than No. 1 goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Last spring, Fleury was replaced by Tomas Vokoun as the clubs starting goaltender after Game 4 of the opening round against the New York Islanders and did not start another game in the playoffs. Fleury struggled at times during the conference quarterfinals against Columbus, but not enough for head coach Dan Bylsma to make the switch to current backup Jeff Zatkoff. For the most part, Fleury was solid against the Blue Jackets in Round 1. He ended the series with a .908 save percentage and 2.81 goals against average. The 29-year-old is 49-36 with a .903 save percentage and .273 GAA throughout his playoff career. The biggest advantage New York has over the Penguins could be in net, where Rangers backstop Henrik Lundqvist is as steady as they come. The 32-year-old Swede posted a .919 save percentage and 2.11 GAA in the seven games against Philadelphia Lundqvist is a big reason the Rangers are so difficult to beat in a long series. With its win over Philly, the Blueshirts became the first team in NHL history to win a Game 7 in the first round in three consecutive postseasons. In five career Game 7s, Lundqvist is 4-1 with a 1.00 GAA, a .963 save percentage and has allowed two goals or fewer in all five games. The Rangers threw a balanced scoring attack at Philadelphia, with eight players tied for the team lead with two goals apiece and 17 skaters in all registered at least one point. Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards, both members of Tampa Bays 2004 Stanley Cup-winning team, led the way with six points on two goals and four assists, while fellow forwards Carl Hagelin, Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello each had two goals and two assists. Even physical forward Daniel Carcillo joined the fun, as the ex-Flyer scored two goals against his former team, including the first marker in Wednesdays 2-1 Game 7 victory. If there is one guy who needs to get going for New York its the clubs top offensive weapon Rick Nash. The big, talented winger led the team with 26 goals during the regular season, but he failed to score against the Flyers while notching four assists. Over 23 career playoff games, Nash only has managed two goals while recording 10 assists. Zuccarello posted two goals and four assists to lead the Rangers in scoring against the Pens during the season series. Both Fleury and Lundqvist started all four games in net. Pittsburghs No. 1 netminder had a 3.12 GAA in the season series, while Lundqvist was slightly better with a 2.88 GAA. Jesse Barfield Jersey .J. -- Fabian Johnson scored his first international goal and Clint Dempsey doubled the lead after a defensive lapse as the United States beat Turkey 2-1 Sunday in the second of three World Cup warm-up matches for the Americans before they head to Brazil. Dave Winfield Jersey . Pinch-hitter Tommy Medica singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 in their first home game since Gwynn died of cancer Monday. http://www.bluejaysonline.com/blue-jays-paul-molitor-jersey/ . -- Matt Rupert scored once in regulation and again in the shootout as the London Knights extended their win streak to nine games by defeating the Owen Sound Attack 4-3 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. Kevin Pillar Jersey . - Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard has signed with WME-IMG, saying the sports management powerhouse will help maximize the value of my brand. Roger Clemens Jersey . Neither made it that far in 2013. Not even close. Federer lost his second match at the All England Club. Nadal exited in the first round, a year after bowing out in the second.Concord, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Sam Hornish Jr. is heading back to the Sprint Cup Series full time in 2015. Richard Petty Motorsports announced on Wednesday that Hornish will join the racing organization to drive the No. 9 Ford in Sprint Cup next season. He will replace Marcos Ambrose in the No. 9 after Ambrose informed the team last month that he is returning to his native home of Australia at seasons end to compete in the Australian V8 Supercar Series, driving an entry for NASCAR and IndyCar Series team owner Roger Penske. Hornish has not competed in Sprint Cup full time since 2010 when he drove for Team Penske. Having the opportunity to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports is great for me, Hornish said during a teleconference on Wednesday. Its just awesome. Im looking forward to knowing all the guys on the No. 9 team and everybody at RPM. Hornish has competed in three full seasons in Sprint Cup as well as two full seasons in the Nationwide Series for Penske. In 2013, he finished second in the Nationwide championship standings, just three points behind champion Austin Dillon. Hornish has driven a partial schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCARs second-tier series this season. He won at Iowa Speedway in May. Prior to his stock car racing career, Hornish competed in IndyCar, wiinning 19 races, including the 2006 Indianapolis 500, and claiming three series championships.dddddddddddd Hornish has 131 career starts in Sprint Cup, including one start this season. He substituted for Denny Hamlin in JGRs No. 11 car in the March 23 race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Hamlin missed the event due to an eye injury. Hornish finished 17th. I feel like Im a lot better prepared, Hornish said of his upcoming full- time return to Sprint Cup. Ive been able to work with quite a few different crew chiefs over the past couple of years. That has allowed me to better understand whats going through those guys heads and pick up things that I like from one crew chief to the next. Drew Blickensderfer will serve as Hornishs crew chief next year. Blickensderfer currently serves in the role for Ambrose. Sam is a really good fit for RPM and will be a great addition to the team, team co-owner Richard Petty said. Hes a family man who fits well with our core values, and he will be a great ambassador for our partners. Sam is also proven that he can win races and compete for a championship. He came into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a steep learning curve from open wheel racing, but has shown in the Nationwide Series that he is a winner. 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