New York Rangers
7:00 p.m., Madison Squre Garden, New York, New York
Good and bad news coming out of the morning skate for the Penguins as we learned that Arron Asham will be out with concussion like symptoms. Asham missed the game on Tuesday night because of an "illness" but that turned into a concussion just like it did earlier in the year with Zbynek Michalek. Just add him to the concussion list.
The good news is that Kris Letang is returning the to lineup tonight after not playing a game since late November when he got his bell rung in Montreal. The Penguins are getting back its best blue liner and it should help out the Penguins a ton. I am not sure if he is going to log a ton of minutes but any time you get a top pair defensive guy you are going to be better.
Ben Lovejoy will take a seat tonight in favor of Letang. Sucks for Lovejoy because he is playing pretty well but so are Matt Niskanen and Deryk Engelland so it puts a capable defense man on the outside looking in. With the way injuries and things go it will be important to have that number seven d-man waiting because he will need to be used at some point.
The Rangers are coming in playing some great hockey as they are 7-3-0 in the last 10 games and a full 10 points ahead of the Penguins with a game in hand. This is a huge test for the Penguins and while this is far from a "must win" game it would be nice to finally crack the win column against the Rangers, especially in MSG.
Season series (Rangers lead 2-0):
November 29 - New York 4, Pittsburgh 3
January 6, 2012 - New York 3, Pittsburgh 1
The Penguins probables (via Penguins Report):
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Pascal Dupuis - Dustin Jeffrey - Tyler Kennedy
Steve Sullivan - Richard Park - Matt Cooke
Eric Tangradi - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik - Kris Letang
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Deryk Engelland - Matt Niskanen
Marc Andre Fleury
The Rangers probables (via Seth at Empty Netters):
Brandon Dubinsky - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Mike Rupp - Artem Anisimov - John Mitchell
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Marc Staal - Stu Bickel