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Tangradi to Play Game 4 in Hometown

Tuesday, 04.17.2012 / 9:40 PM / 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Coverage
By Michelle Crechiolo

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The city of Philadelphia is home to Penguins forward Eric Tangradi.

But on Wednesday, he hopes it will be a battlefield.

That’s because Tangradi will play his second career postseason game when the Penguins head to Wells Fargo Center for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with cross-state rival Flyers.

And Tangradi, 23, feels he’s ready for both the intense playoff atmosphere and the emotions of playing in the city in which he he grew up.

“I played in my hometown twice so I was able to get that out of the way,” Tangradi explained. “I played a playoff game last year in Tampa. I feel like I’m ready. I know what to expect in a playoff series. I know the pace may be at a different level than it was last year, but they’re all things where I am confident in myself and prepared for (Wednesday).”

Philadelphia is one of, if not the, most hostile road environments in the league. The crowd that’s dressed in orange and over 20,000 strong certainly does an excellent job of making their barn a tough place to play, especially during the postseason – and it can be a lot to handle for a young opposing player like Tangradi.

But luckily for him, not all of the faces in the crowd will be unfriendly – though they may still be wearing Flyers gear.

“I would say the family might just go neutral colors,” Tangradi grinned. “Maybe a white or something like that. But my friends will be wearing orange, that’s for sure.”

Tangradi skated on a line with Richard Park and Joe Vitale at practice Tuesday, but refused to get ahead of himself in terms of what line he would play on, if he could see time on the power play or how many minutes he might potentially log.

All the big-bodied (6-foot-4, 221-pound), physical winger wants to do is make the most of the role he’s given – and feels he’s ready to do exactly that.

“I don’t have any expectations as far as where I’ll be on the depth chart,” Tangradi said. “it will be a great opportunity for me whether it’s playing minimal minutes or a big role. I know that whatever the challenge is I’ve prepared myself throughout the season and definitely towards the end to be effective.”

It’s been a rollercoaster of a series filled with ups and downs, and Tangradi is antsy to be a part of it – and help get his team get a win and get back in this series.

“Being up in the press box you get an idea for the energy and the excitement, but nothing does justice like being down on the ice,” he said. “I’ve definitely been itching up top watching the games. I’m absolutely thrilled and excited for an opportunity to get in there, but in the same time I am looking forward to trying to help this team make a difference.”
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