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Rust Back, Johnson Out? Expected Penguins Lines, Preview vs. Rangers



It is a new year for the Pittsburgh Penguins (21-12-6), but they are hoping to continue the results from the final weeks of 2018. The first challenge of 2019 will come on the road from the New York Rangers (17-14-7) at the house Billy Joel built, Madison Square Garden. The Penguins are in third place in the Metropolitan Division and two points ahead of the New York Islanders in the standings.

Bryan Rust was a full participant in the morning skate. While Jack Johnson and Jamie Oleksiak rotated on the third pairing with Marcus Pettersson. Johnson has done so before, but drawn into the lineup.

The Penguins seek their seventh straight win and are rolling with an 8-2 in their last 10 contests. This is the first time the Penguins and the Rangers will meet this season; last season’s series ended tied 2-2. The Penguins outscored the Rangers, 16-14.

The Penguins beat the Minnesota Wild, Monday night, 3-2.  Two late first period goals by Sidney Crosby (18) and Phil Kessel (17) put the Penguins in control. Kessel later set up Riley Sheahan for the game-winning goal. The game marked Kessel’s third straight three-point performance. Casey DeSmith started for the Penguins and stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced to continue the Penguins’ streak of quality goaltending.

Sidney Crosby has four-straight multi-point games. He is on pace for 105 points.

Devan Dubnyk saved 29 shots for the Wild while Zach Parise (17) and Mikko Koivu (5) added goals.

The Rangers won their second straight game, Saturday against the St. Louis Blues 2-1. The Rangers rallied from a deficit and rode a stellar performance from former Vezina trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist stopped 39 of the 40 shots and earned his 12th win of the year. Mats Zuccarello (4) and Boo Nieves (2) scored for the Rangers. Jake Allen started for the Blues and surrendered 2 goals on 23 shots. Ryan O’Reilly (15) scored the Blues only marker.



Justin Schultz (Fractured leg. IR)

Bryan Rust (Lower Body injury)

Olli Maatta ( Lower Body injury, game-time decision)



Special Teams

TEAMPower PlayPenalty Kill
Pittsburgh Penguins15.1% (11-73) 27th NHL92.2% (5-64) 1st NHL
Anaheim Ducks26.3% (20-76) 5th NHL86.3% (10-76) 3rd NHL

Penguins Lines

Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyBryan Rust
Rickard RakellEvgeni MalkinKasperi Kapanen
Jason ZuckerJeff CarterDanton Heinen
Brock McGinnTeddy BluegerEvan Rodrigues
Mike MathesonKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJohn Marino
Mark FriedmanChad Ruhwedel
Tristan Jarry
Louis Domingue


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