Saturday, March 16, 2013

Penguins Game 29 Preview - vs. New York Rangers

New York Rangers

1:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Last Penguins Game:
March 14, 2013 - Pittsburgh 3, Toronto 1 [Recap]

So, to my surprise the Penguins are playing a hockey game at 1 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. No idea why I thought it was at 1 p.m. but I only found out they were playing early when a bunch of people on Twitter were talking about the game and I happened to go check the start time and to my surprise it was early. Meh.

Anyways, to quickly go through this, the Penguins are rolling and the Rangers aren't. I know that any team can beat any other team on any given day but the Rangers are ripe for the picking. They were supposed to be the team that was supposed to win the Eastern Conference at the beginning of the year but they have been about as average as you can possible be. John Tortorella is on his usual rants about the team not being good but the team isn't responding. Really the only guy on a night in-night out basis that has shown up has been Rick Nash.

The Penguins already have two wins over the Rangers earlier in the season and both of them came on the road at Madison Square Garden. Huge wins for the Penguins and while they sit atop the division standings the Rangers are on the outside looking in for the playoff race. A win today can really go a long way in pretty much making it impossible for another team to catch them in the division with only 20 games remaining (including this one).

Henrik Lundqvist is in net for the Rangers and while he is considered one of the best in the game the defensive lapses of the team in front of him he really has been hampered by that. He still holds a really solid .920 save percentage and a 2.27 goals against average and the Penguins have scored seven goal on Lundqvist on only 47 shots and was yanked in the first matchup.

Marc-Andre Fleury is in the net for the Penguins after a really solid win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. He hasn't been great in the month of March but he really showed what he can do in Toronto and if he carries over that game to today the Penguins have a great chance of winning.

The Probables:

Pittsburgh (19-8-0)

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Beau Bennett - Dustin Jeffrey - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Simon Despres - Kris Letang
Matt Niskanen - Deryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

New York Rangers (13-11-2) (via Penguins website)

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Rick Nash
Marian Gaborik - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Taylor Pyatt - Brian Boyle - J.T. Miller
Micheal Haley - Jeff Halpern - Darroll Powe

Dan Girardi - Ryan McDonagh
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Roman Hamrlik - Steve Eminger

Henrik Lundqvist

The Season Series (Pittsburgh leads 2-0-0)

January 31, 2013 - Pittsburgh 0, New York Rangers 0

January 20, 2013 - Pittsburgh 6, New York Rangers 3


The Stats:

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