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Dumoulin OUT of the Lineup for Game 2; Friedman Draws IN

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Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin

NEW YORK — Word came just before warmups. Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who was banged up in Game 1 and left the regular-season finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets twice, was out of the lineup for Game 2 against the New York Rangers.

The Penguins won Game 1 in triple OT, 4-3. Dumoulin played over 36 minutes, the third most of all Penguins in Game 1. He also participated in the optional practice on Wednesday and the optional morning skate on Thursday morning at Madison Square Garden.

Head coach Mike Sullivan inserted Mark Friedman into the Penguins lineup on the third pairing with Chad Ruhwedel. Mike Matheson, who played over 38 minutes in Game 1 and occasionally slotted with Kris Letang on the Penguins’ top pairing late in the regular season, again elevated to play with Letang on the premier pairing.

Letang and Matheson created significant chances and offense in their time together this season (Read the PHN analysis of the defensive pairing here: Mike Matheson – Kris Letang).

Dumoulin was mainly healthy this season, though he suffered multiple minor injuries. He had 18 points (3-15-18) in 76 games.

On Thursday, the Penguins also activated Nathan Beaulieu off LTIR. The Penguins acquired the tough defenseman at the NHL trade deadline, but Beaulieu has not yet participated in a full Penguins practice.

Another Pittsburgh Penguins lineup decision: Jason Zucker was not able to play on Thursday. Drew O’Connor was in the lineup instead.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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