Gameday #29: v. New York Rangers




Consol Energy Center, 1:00 PM, Root Sports, NHL Network (local blackout)

The Pens have already gone into the Rangers’ barn and taken two games. Today the Rangers come to Consol Energy Center. If you need any context for why the Penguins want to win today just check out the current standings:


Is there any team that you would rather face than the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs? Certainly not me. And it looks like the Rangers aren’t going to move much higher than 8th, if they’re going to get in at all.

It’s really hard to fathom why the Rangers have underachieved so badly this year, this was probably the one year where they would actually be able to hold onto all the pieces needed to make them winners, but if the season ended today they would be playing golf with the Flyers.

Well okay maybe we do know why, amazingly Rick Nash has been their best player and Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards have not been anywhere near that. Their stacked young corps of defensive defensemen have forgotten that they’re nearly all in contract seasons, and “King” Henrik Lundqvist has been playing like it’s already the playoffs, which is to say poorly.

In case you haven’t heard, the Pens have won 7 straight, which coincidentally is how many games they’ve played in March, March of the Penguins indeed. Over these 7 games the Pens have come back from a deficit 4 times, including the last two. You have to respect the Pens’ attitude regarding their come-from-behind prowess.

We have, in this locker room, the feeling that we can come back on any team. But it won’t happen every night. We can’t make it a habit.

-Pascal Dupuis

We didn’t make it easy on ourselves. We didn’t execute, especially in the first two periods. But we kept it simple in the third and just tried to give us a chance to get back into the game. We were fortunate to do that.

-Sidney Crosby

In terms of lineup the Pens will obviously keep the same forwards, because they don’t have a choice, although Geno is skating again. As always, defense is a crap shoot although we wouldn’t be shocked to see the same pairings from the Islanders game, although we also wouldn’t be shocked to see the same pairings as the Bruins game, or the Leafs game. Screw it we don’t know who is playing, safest bet: Robert Bortuzzo won’t be. We expect Vokoun to get the nod, he’s already 2-0 with a shutout against the Rangers and this is the first of a back to back with the Bruins coming back to town tomorrow.

Most interesting read of the day comes from Seth Rorabaugh over at Empty Netters, the Pens have the most goals by undrafted players this year, by a lot. Read it here.

Also, if you want to know what the Penguins plan to do with all the sock monkeys and hats from Chris Kunitz’s trick last Sunday, check it out here.

Roll on. Go Pens.


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