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Rakell Nearly Knocked Out, Guentzel Returns from Injury



Pittsburgh Penguins, Rickard Rakell injury

The Pittsburgh Penguins had a rough first period against the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their Round One series. Not only did New York significantly outshoot them and lead 1-0, but Penguins wingers Rickard Rakell and Jake Guentzel were injured on the same sequence late in the first period. Rakell was crumpled on the wall by a high hit from defenseman Ryan Lindgren.

Rakell was nearly knocked out. Teammates Sidney Crosby and Mike Matheson had to help the woozy Rakell off the ice.

Officials appeared to signal a major penalty on Lindgren, but after review, they reduced it to just a minor penalty.


Lindgren was called only for roughing, not for the lateness or the severity of the high hit.

The Pittsburgh Penguins did not score on the power play in the first period but had nearly 40 seconds of the man-advantage remaining.

Rangers defenseman Adam Fox may have further hurt the Pittsburgh Penguins roster when he hit Jake Guentzel in the corner. The Penguins winger remained down and grabbed at his right knee. He limped off the ice under his own power.

New York was aggressive and physical in the first period. Ryan Reaves delivered four hits, each seemingly a thundering blow.

New York won three of the four games in the regular season. They outshot the Penguins 15-10 and outhit them 19-10.

UPDATE: Guentzel returned for the start of the second period. Rakell did not.

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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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6 months ago

Let the playoffs or should I say the beatings begin.
Same ole same ole.

6 months ago

Rakell wasn’t nearly knocked out. There’s no chance in the world he would’ve beaten a 10 count, so he was knocked out. When I watched the first games and saw that game misconduct in Toronto, I thought maybe something changed. This blatant head hunting incident says it isn’t so. He was aiming for the head and jumped a little bit.

Alan Smith
6 months ago

Clean hit! Elbow to the head, leaving the skates and intent the whole way! NHL should be suspended! Love their dirty hits! Who stopped the 5 minute major call! It is only his brain no big deal!

6 months ago

The theme so far in less than a week of this year’s SC playoffs is head hunting — and that includes goalies. When teams aren’t good enough they have to resort to that kind of play. It was acceptable 40 years ago. Not now.