Penguins coach Dan Bylsma confirmed Thursday that defenseman Brooks Orpik left Game 4 Wednesday night against the New York Rangers for something other than an injury that caused him to miss the previous five games.
“It’s a new injury,” Bylsma said.
Orpik didn’t make it past the first period.
The nature of the injury that kept him out of the final two games of the Columbus series and the first three of the Rangers series was never disclosed, but this time it appears to be a right knee injury.
Orpik played 5:15 in the first period but seemed to get hurt with 2:28 left in that period when he hit New York center Mats Zuccarello.
If Orpik can’t play in Game 5 tonight at Consol Energy Center, presumably Robert Bortuzzo would return to the lineup. Bortuzzo played his first five postseason games while Orpik was out before Game 4 and earned praise from Bylsma.
A little history lesson
Only 26 teams in Stanley Cup history have overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.
The Penguins have pulled off such a comeback twice — rallying to defeat Washington in 1992 and again in 1995 — but they also have been on the wrong end of one a couple of times.
The New York Islanders did it to them in 1975, when the Penguins actually won the first three games of their second-round series, and Tampa Bay climbed out of a 3-1 hole against them in 2011.
There is something of an asterisk on what the Lightning did, however, because Sidney Crosby (concussion) and Evgeni Malkin (knee) both sat out that series.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate, also has advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
Wilkes-Barre opens best-of-seven play tonight at home against the Providence Bruins.
If the NHL Penguins beat the Rangers and Boston beats Montreal, both parent and affiliate clubs would be facing each other at the same time.
Wilkes-Barre beat Binghamton in four games in a best-of-five first round. Its top four scorers in the first round are familiar to Penguins fans. Winger Chuck Kobasew (three goals, three assists), winger Andrew Ebbett (two goals, four assists), defenseman Brian Dumoulin (one goal, four assists) and forward Harry Zolnierczyk (two goals, one assist) each spent a little to a lot of time with the Penguins this season.
“Everyone’s chipping in, and everyone’s stepping up at the right time,” said winger Jayson Megna, who was returned to Wilkes-Barre earlier this week. He split this season between the AHL and the NHL, and played in his first two NHL postseason games in the first round against Columbus.
The Penguins had a day off. … The Rangers practiced before traveling to Pittsburgh. Winger Carl Hagelin, who had a goal in Game 4, did not skate. Coach Alain Vigneault said Hagelin had a “maintenance day.” … If Game 6 Sunday at Madison Square Garden is necessary, it will begin at 7:08 p.m.
Shelly Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly. Dave Molinari: email@example.com and Twitter @MolinariPG. The Post-Gazette’s Stephen J. Nesbitt contributed.