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PENGUINS WELCOME RANGERS TO MELLON ARENA ON THURSDAY

Thursday, 04.13.2006 / 12:00 AM / Pittsburgh Penguins
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PENGUINS WELCOME RANGERS TO MELLON ARENA ON THURSDAY

The Pittsburgh Penguins return to Mellon Arena on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against the New York Rangers.

It marks the team’s first home game since April 2. The Penguins wrapped up their second-longest road trip of the season Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The Penguins closed the four-game swing with a 1-3 record, but two games were decided by just one goal and a third had a two-goal margin.

Super rookie Sidney Crosby shrugged off an injury for two points Tuesday night. He scored a goal and assisted on Ryan Whitney’s tally. It puts Crosby at 93 points (37+56) in 77 games played. The 18-year-old phenom needs seven points – an average of 1.75 points per game – in the Penguins’ last four games to reach the 100-point plateau.

Crosby ranks second to Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin (49+51) in the rookie scoring race, 100-93. However, Crosby continues to lead all rookies in assists.

Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar had three assists Tuesday night to keep up his torrid pace. He has 34 points (4+30) in his last 31 games, including 20 points (3+17) since the Olympic break.

FSN Pittsburgh will televise the contest at 7:30 p.m., while 3WS (94.5 FM) will start its radio broadcast with a pregame show at 7 p.m. The broadcast may be found live through streaming audio on pittsburghpenguins.com as well. Tune in for Penguins Hotline following every game on 3WS and the Penguins Radio Network. Join in the conversation with host Bob Grove by calling the Penn Telecom toll-free line at 1-866-922-2874.

The Penguins hit the road to take on the New York Islanders on Saturday. Both teams meet again Monday at Mellon Arena. Pittsburgh wraps up its season the next day in Toronto.

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