New York Rangers
7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Rangers are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and are coming off a pretty impressive win at the Winter Classic. Lets hope they have some sort of lapse tonight as the Penguins have had some major struggles against the top teams in the league and they could really use two points since they are eight points back of the Rangers in the Atlantic Division.
The Rangers have a loaded roster that only gets better with the return of Marc Staal. It is also going to be a little harder to hate said roster after watching 24/7. I hate the Rangers more than anyone but 24/7 did a nice job to show that these guys are humans and that they are likeable people. If they were playing in New York it would be much easier to hate these guys but I dunno, it's going to be, different.
This will be Mike Rupp's first trip back to Pittsburgh since being a part of the team before signing with the Rangers in the off season. After giving Jagr the salute and scoring two goals against the Flyers and with his continued support he already got from Pittsburgh I would expect him to get a loud ovation from the CONSOL faithful.
Good news for the Penguins today as they welcomed Kris Letang back to the ice and they will be skating with Paul Martin on the ice tonight along with his shutdown partner Zbynek Michalek should make for a better blueline. Michalek did not skate today because evidently he was hit with a puck in practice tomorrow but I would anticipate him playing.
Richard Park should also be in the line up as will call up Colin McDonald.
The season series (Rangers lead 1-0):
November 29, 2011 - New York 4, Pittsburgh 3
The Penguins probables:
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Pascal Dupuis - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Richard Park - Steve Sullivan
Craig Adams - Joe Vitale - Colin McDonald
Brooks Orpik - Matt Niskanen
Zbynek Michalek - Paul Martin
Deryk Engelland - Ben Lovejoy
Marc Andre Fleury
The Rangers probables:
Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin - Brian Boyle - Ruslan Fedotenko
Mike Rupp - John Mitchell - Brandon Prust
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Marc Staal - Stu Bickell