Penguins looking to exorcise playoff demons against Rangers

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has been out of action with concussion symptoms, talks with goalie Jeff Zatkoff during a practice session for the NHL hockey playoffs against the New York Rangers, Monday, April 11, 2016, at their practice facility in Cranberry, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
AP

PITTSBURGH (AP) The surging Pittsburgh Penguins hope the third time is the charm as they prepare to face the New York Rangers in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs beginning on Wednesday.

The Rangers have ended Pittsburgh's season with postseason triumphs each of the last two years.

Pittsburgh enters the playoffs as the hottest team in the NHL, going 14-2 down the stretch to leapfrog New York in the Metropolitan Division and earn home ice. The Penguins could start the series without goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who is recovering from a concussion sustained on March 31.

The Rangers and star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist are hoping for a return to the form that's led the club to deep postseason in 2014 and 2015. Lundqvist struggled at times late in the year, getting pulled twice in his final five starts.