Connect with us


Penguins vs. Rangers, Game 69: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins game, New York Rangers

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-2 loss Thursday night at Madison Square Garden just might have one tiny upside for them: It should have finally, emphatically snuffed any thoughts they had about overtaking the New York Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Now, the chances of them pulling that off were slim, even after a 3-2 overtime victory against Rangers Sunday at PPG Paints Arena, and they had become microscopic when the Penguins lost to Montreal, 6-4, two nights later.

That put the gap separating them from New York at eight points, and the Rangers pushed it into double-figures Thursday at the Garden.

New York isn’t mathematically assured of finishing ahead of the Penguins, but realistically, the issue has been settled.

Which means the Penguins can now shift their attention solely to the teams chasing them for one of the final two spots in the Eastern Conference playoff field.

They and the New York Islanders are tied for the East’s first wild-card berth, but Florida is just three points behind those two, while Washington is four back and Buffalo trails them by five.

The game tonight will be the finale of the season series, which presumably is a disappointment for New York winger Chris Kreider, who has scored five of the Rangers’ eight goals in the three games so far.

Although Kreider has scored six of his 30 goals in 2022-23 on the power play, he hasn’t gotten any of those against the Penguins.

That’s because, even though New York’s power play is one of the most skilled in the NHL and ranks in the top 10 in efficiency, it is 0-for-7 against the Penguins, whose penalty kill has sputtered at various points in the season.

It has been effective of late, however, not allowing a goal in the past four games after giving up five in the previous four.

If the Penguins hope to give themselves a little more breathing room over the clubs trying to overtake them in the playoff race, continuing to neutralize New York’s power play — and finding a way to control Kreider — would be a good start.

Update: Coach Mike Sullivan declined to say which defenseman will be out of the lineup, necessitating the emergency recall of Mark Friedman. Jan Rutta is a good guess, as he recently returned from a long-term injury and left the game after a shot to the knee on Tuesday. PHN reporter Dan Kingerski reported seeing five defensemen at the arena: Kris Letang, Marcus Pettersson, Brian Dumoulin, Chad Ruhwedel, and Friedman.

Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines











Expected New York Rangers Lines











Special Teams

Penguins power play: 51 for 233, 21.9%, 14th in NHL

Penguins penalty-kill: 43 for 216, 80.1%, 14th in NHL

Rangers power play: 48 for 206, 23.3%, 9th in NHL

Rangers penalty-kill: 39 for 192, 79.7%, 16th in NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes

The Pittsburgh Penguins called off their game-day skate. Mike Sullivan is scheduled to meet with reporters around 6 p.m.

Sidney Crosby has a six-game points streak, matching his second-longest of the season.

The Penguins are outscoring opponents, 81-66, in the second period.

Marcus Pettersson leads the Penguins and ranks 19th in the NHL with 129 blocked shots.

Both the Penguins and Rangers have scored a total of 222 goals this season, but the Penguins have allowed 30 more than New York.

Rickard Rakell needs one point to hit 50 for the third time in his career.

The teams have virtually identical records in games decided by one goal. The Penguins are 13-5-10, while New York is 13-6-10.

The Rangers are 4-5-2 on Saturdays, the only day of the week on which they have a losing record.

New York right winger Patrick Kane’s next goal will be his 450th in the NHL.

The Rangers are 13-0 when defenseman Adam Fox records two or more points.

New York center Mika Zibanejad has scored 19 power-play goals, tying him with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the second-most in the NHL.

The Rangers have a league-leading 13 victories when tied at the second intermission.

New York center Vincent Trocheck has more goals in the second period (10) than in the first and third combined (9).

How to Watch


Radio: 105.9 the X