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Penguins Game 66 vs. Rangers: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins Game, vs New York Rangers

The Pittsburgh Penguins, with three points over their past two games, face a stiff test Saturday when the New York Rangers visit.

The Penguins (29-27-9) got those three points against lesser teams, the Ottawa Senators and the last-place San Jose Sharks.

The Rangers (43-19-4) are a different animal, the top team in the Metropolitan Division.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 3 p.m.

Penguins Preview

There is suddenly a ray of light where the Penguins’ playoff hopes are concerned. Their 1-0-1 stretch combined with some key losses by other Eastern Conference teams has put them within five points of a wildcard spot.

It’s still not an ideal situation, with 17 games remaining, but things don’t seem as grim as they did just a week ago. Points this weekend against the Rangers and the visiting Detroit Red Wings – one of the teams the Penguins are chasing – could further improve their spot in the standings.

If you go back to Jan. 20, the Penguins were within three points of a playoff spot when they sat that far behind Detroit. Things looked to be slipping away after that, until this week.

What’s more, the Penguins rediscovered their offense in Thursday’s 6-3 win over the Sharks. They got goals from six different players after accumulating just two goals in their previous four games, including two shutout losses.

Defenseman John St. Ivany could make his NHL debut for the Penguins. He was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL and practiced with the team on Friday. If so, perhaps he will replace P.O Joseph on the third pairing.

Read more:

Kingerski: Finally, Penguins Feel a Playoff Spark; ‘We Have a Job to Do’

Molinari: Will St. Ivany Become a Hit on Penguins’ Blue Line?

The Rangers have been in first place in the Metro for 145 days, and that won’t change regardless of Saturday’s outcome.

But New York did hit a little bump Thursday when their three-game winning streak ended with a 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay. That was the most goals the Rangers had allowed since a loss by the same score to Vancouver on Jan. 8.

The Rangers can look in both directions in the standings. They are trying to hold off second-place Carolina in the Metro, but also are chasing the Eastern Conference title, with Florida and Boston within sight.

Expected Penguins Lines

Michael Bunting-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust

Drew O’Connor-Evgeni Malkin-Rickard Rakell

Reilly Smith-Lars Eller-Valtteri Puustinen

Emil Bemstrom-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter


Marcus Pettersson-Kris Letang

Ryan Graves-Erik Karlsson

John Ludvig-John St. Ivany


Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedeljkovic

Expected Rangers Lines

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Jack Roslovic

Artemi Panarin-Vincent Trocheck-Alexis Lafreniere

Will Cuylle-Alex Wennberg-Kaapo Kakko

Jimmy Vesey-Barclay Goodrow-Jonny Brodzinski


Ryan Lindgren-Adam Fox

K’Andre Miller-Braden Schneider

Zac Jones-Erik Gustafsson


Igor Shesterkin

Jonathan Quick

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 14.4%, 29th

Penguins penalty kill: 82.7%, 6th

Rangers power play: 24.9%, 7th

Rangers penalty kill: 83.4%, 5th

Penguins Game Notes

The Penguins lost 1-0 to the Rangers at home Nov. 22 in the teams’ only game so far this season.

The Penguins have won seven of their past nine home games against the Rangers.

The Penguins are 4-2-1 in their past seven home games overall.

Penguins leading scorer Sidney Crosby, who has gone 10 straight games without a goal, has 104 career points (38 goals, 66 points) in 83 games against the Rangers.

Evgeni Malkin has 70 points (31 goals, 39 assists) in 72 career games against the Rangers.

Malkin is one goal shy of reaching 20 goals in a season for the 15th time.

Jeff Carter is one goal away from reaching 10 goals in a season for the 19th time.

How to Watch


Radio: 105.9 FM The X