New York Rangers: Brooks Orpik

Tri-staters competing on U.S. hockey team

February, 8, 2014
With the opening ceremony for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia kicking off on Friday, here is a list of the Tri-state area men's hockey players who will compete for the United States:

Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y.) The Los Angeles Kings captain, who won a Stanley Cup Championship in 2012, will be called upon as one of the members of the U.S. team’s leadership group. He is one of four players returning from the 2010 Olympic squad.

Ryan Callahan (Rochester, N.Y.) The 28-year-old winger and captain of the New York Rangers will make his second Olympic appearance. He was a member of the silver medal-winning squad in Vancouver in 2010.

John Carlson (Colonia, N.J.) One of the youngest members of the U.S. team, Carlson was a member of the U.S. team that won gold in the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. The 24-year-old Washington Capitals defenseman scored the overtime game winner to best Canada in the gold-medal game.

Jimmy Howard (Ogdensburg, N.Y.) The Detroit Red Wings netminder will likely be third on the goaltending depth chart for the U.S. team behind both Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick.

Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.) One of the Americans’ most dynamic weapons on offense, Kane has already proven he’s a winner. He’s got two Stanley Cup Championships to his name and won the Conn Smythe Trophy last spring for his MVP performance in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Brooks Orpik (Amherst, N.Y.) The veteran defenseman is one of two blueliners from the Pittsburgh Penguins to compete for the U.S. team in Sochi. He’ll play alongside Paul Martin on a team led by his Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.

Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn.) Pacioretty was far from a lock to earn a roster spot on this year’s squad but an impressive start to the 2013-14 season for the Montreal Canadiens helped his cause. He is second in scoring with 26 goals and 37 points in 49 games for the Habs this season.

Kevin Shattenkirk (New Rochelle, N.Y.) Shattenkirk is expected to be one of the key players on the back end for the U.S. team, and he may be headed for a long stretch of hockey even after the Games are over. His St. Louis Blues squad is battling the Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the Central Division.

James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) The 6-foot-3, 200-pound winger has played alongside offensive dynamo Phil Kessel this season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The two hope to put that chemistry to good use for the U.S. in Sochi.

Jonathan Quick (Milford, Conn.) The 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, and brother-in-law to former Islander Matt Moulson, will battle Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller for the top goaltending position.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Penguins

December, 18, 2013
At a glance: After snapping a four-game skid in a 4-3 shootout win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night, the Rangers host the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday in a rivalry night matchup at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers have a daunting task ahead in the sixth game of a nine-game homestand at MSG; Pittsburgh enters the match with nine wins in their past 10 games and four consecutive victories. What’s even more impressive? The Penguins have been able to withstand a dizzying number of injuries, particularly to their back end.

Banged-up: The Penguins, who enter the game with a total of 170 man-games lost through the first 35 games of the season, are absolutely decimated on defense. They are relying heavily on the likes of Matt Niskanen and rookie Olli Maatta with their top four -- Kris Letang (upper body), Paul Martin (broken tibia), Brooks Orpik (concussion) and Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) -- sidelined with injury. Beyond their blue line, the Penguins are missing an additional seven regular roster players, including Evgeni Malkin (lower body) and James Neal (suspension).

Still have Sid: So, how exactly have the Penguins been able to pace the rest of the pack despite the rash of injuries? Well, having the world’s best player doesn’t hurt. Sidney Crosby, who tallied the game winner in the Pens’ 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs on Monday night, is leading the league with 47 points (19 goals, 28 assists). No. 87 enters Wednesday’s game on a seven-game point streak. He has six goals and five assists during that span.

Missing in action: The Rangers are not without their own costly absences. During the homestand, the Blueshirts lost captain Ryan Callahan to a knee injury that is expected to sideline him for at least another three to five weeks. They are also without defenseman Marc Staal, who is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Scratched: After playing the first two games of his NHL debut, defensive prospect Dylan McIlrath will be a healthy scratch Wednesday. Rugged veteran Arron Asham returns to the lineup.