Game 36: Penguins at Rangers

Photo credit: AP

Photo credit: AP

The Penguins are in town tonight to open the first of a home-and-home with the Rangers. The good news: No Crosby, they just lost, and they are playing the second of back-to-back games. The bad news: They are still really, really good, and got better by adding Brendan Morrow, Douglass Murray, and Jarome Iginla.

But these are the new look Rangers. Marian Gaborik is in Columbus. Ryane Clowe, Derek Brassard, Derek Dorset, and John Moore are in New York. Chris Kreider and JT Miller are in Connecticut. We don’t know what these new-look Rangers are capable of, but they can’t be any softer than the previous 2013 version.

The Pens play a 2-1-2 forecheck to pin the Rangers in their own zone, create turnovers, and capitalize. The Rangers will need to make good outlet passes to beat the pressure, which may be tough with such extreme roster turnover. In the defensive zone, the Penguins play a strong side overload or a low zone collapse, depending on puck location. They use these strategies to overwhelm the offensive players along the boards and create turnovers. If this doesn’t work (i.e.: The puck gets to the weak side point man), then the Pens shift to the low zone collapse and block shots.

On special teams, the Pens run an umbrella powerplay. Their powerplay is absolutely lethal, converting at 24.1% efficiency (4th in the league). But that penalty kill is the polar opposite, killing off penalties at a paltry 78.8% rate (24th in the league). The Pens also run a diamond penalty kill.

For more on Tortorella’s systems read here.

2012-2013 Records: Penguins (28-9-0), Rangers (17-15-3)

NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (13-17-30)
PIT Leading Scorer: Chris Kunitz (20-25-45)

NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (30 GP, 2.19 GAA, .922 SV%)
PIT Goaltender: Marc-Andre Fleury (25 GP, 2.18 GAA, .920 SV%)

New York Rangers Tickets
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Rangers Lines: 

LW/C/RW

Rick Nash-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Ryane Clowe-Brad Richards-Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin-Derek Brassard-Brian Boyle
Taylor Pyatt-Darroll Powe-Arron Asham

LD/RD

Michael Del Zotto-Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh-Anton Stralman
John Moore-Steve Eminger

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratches/Injuries:  Mike Sauer (concussion), Marc Staal (eye), Matt Gilroy (healthy), Roman Hamrlik (healthy), J.T. Miller (healthy)

Broadcast Info: NBCSN, 7:30pm

Torts’ post-practice interview from Tuesday:

23 Responses to “Game 36: Penguins at Rangers”

  1. Chris F says:

    With the new players in the lineup, I’d expect something along the lines of:

    Nash-Stepan-Callahan
    Hagelin-Richards-Clowe
    Zuccarello-Brassard-Pyatt
    Asham-Boyle-Powe

    (Honestly, not that impressed with that line-up).

    For D:

    Michael Del Zotto-Dan Girardi
    Ryan McDonagh-Anton Stralman
    Steve Eminger-John Moore

    1) Really, really disappointed in the Gaborik trade. One can only surmise that Gaborik and Tortorella just weren’t going to work out together anymore and Gaborik was unlikely to re-sign with the Rangers, so they got what they could for him. I’m not sure what that says about Torts, if in fact, he drove Gaborik, an elite 40-goal scorer, out of NY.

    2) Combining the Columbus/NY trades, we sent Gaborik, Dubisnky, Anisimiv and Erixon for Nash, Brassard, Dorsett and Moore. I suppose fairly balanced, but I don’t really know how I feel about that. Dubinsky was overpaid, but dammit if I didn’t love that guy.

    3) I don’t understand bringing Fast over just to play in the AHL for two-weeks, unless this is strictly to get him accustomed to North American hockey for next season. Would have liked to see him in the lineup with the Rangers.

    4) The positives of the last two days is that while the Rangers may have lost Gaborik, in the grand scheme of things they replaced him with Nash who has a better up-side, I think. They’ve also now replaced much of the snarl that left in Mitchell, Dubinsky, Prust, etc. The team actually looks more like what it was last year, just with a lot of new faces. Let’s hope this all pans out.

    • Evan says:

      Dubinsky has 23 goals in his last 152 games. What a great player to love.

      This brassard kid tonight is showing more creativity in one game than dubinsky showed in his last like 80 games for the rangers.

  2. Mikeyyy says:

    Well hopefully the New York bluejackets have a good game tonight.

    While I hate the trade, I don’t know enough to say what happened till the dust settles.

  3. Seahorse says:

    just a quick non-game related question, does this pushback/extend the championship window by dealing gabby, by adding youth and depth? and just to speculate if that is the plan does the richards buyout become even more likely?

    • Chris F says:

      I think the Rangers look more like the team they had last, with some Columbus personnel and Clowethe swapped in filling similar roles as Gaborik, Dubinsky, Prust, etc.

      The window should still be about thebsame, with Lundqvist still elite for another 4 years or so with Kreider, Miller and McIlrath coming down the pipe.

    • Dave says:

      The window opens and closes with Hank. As he goes, the window goes.

  4. Tim B says:

    We need a new poll. Why is the top line on the third line??? Boyle on the top line never sounds good.

  5. Chris F says:

    Nice set up by Brassard to Richards for the PP goal! I think Boyle may have deflected it.

  6. Joestradamus says:

    This is beautiful!

  7. Dave says:

    So then: Brassard gets the assist on the first goal. Clowe gets the assist on the second, then scores the third.

    Marian who?

    • Rangers fan in Boston says:

      Ha! I can see the goal breakdown comments now. Stanley Cup, here we come! This is fun though. Let’s keep it up for 2 more periods.

      • Dave says:

        Was tough for me to keep up with the goals for a while. I’m all caught up now.

  8. TxRanger says:

    Man, the new guys look good!

  9. Tim B says:

    I got to give Slats credit. Who knew Brassard, Richards abd Clowe would be tearing it up in their first game together. Hopefully they play like this every night. Who knew Clowe would score his first of the season on his first game with the Rangers. Imagine having Nash-Stepan-Cally line and Brassard-Richards-Clowe line scoring every night… The Rangers suddenly would be a dangerous team to face offensively.

  10. Dave says:

    Boyle: 1-2-3
    Brassard: 1-2-3
    Clowe: 2-1-3

    • Rob says:

      Seriously forget about the score. Even if this were a tie game right now, I’d have to say that THIS is Rangers brand of hockey that we were so familiar and used to the past 3 seasons. Wow. Keep going boys.

  11. sean says:

    wow….some people are eating their words from earlier huh?

  12. Rob says:

    Also, If anyone’s at the game…Is it real quiet in there or is it my TV lol? Perhaps, everyone’s all stressed out from all of the moves today or the fans are shocked lol.

    • VinceR says:

      It was loud to start, kind of iffy at first (1) the crowd trying to figure out how this was going to go, stunned by the big moves, (2) seemed like even a more corp crowd than usual…not judging corporate but many people around me seemed to be more the crowd of “hey, I got these free tickets from xyz, let’s check out the Rangers”.

      It’s the lower bowl, upper rows…I know the rep is that it’s usually like that, but normally it hasn’t been (I’m a season subscriber, been to most games).

      I think once the party kept going, people were just more stunned than anything. Also remember that Pittsburgh isn’t that far and from what I noticed the past four years…they unfortunately travel well in numbers. So maybe the silence was actually a POSTIVE sign.

      • Rob says:

        Thanks for the info Vince. It makes sense. Usually the games are louder at home on non MSG channels like NBCS, TSN, NHLN etc. I think MSG dubs out the sound a bit, so that’s why I was expecting to hear the crowd more tonight being it was on NBCS. You could clearly see on TV that many of the “Red Seats” left early on so, ye, there were def a lotta corp seats for sure. Nonetheless, GREAT GAME!

        • VinceR says:

          Also, with games like these, don’t forget MSG is right on top of Penn station. If the game seems decided, a lot of folks will flee to get themselves on a train that will get them home 30-45 minutes earlier. Luckily I live in Manhattan and it’s the A-C-E to the L…runs all night every few minutes :)

  13. Dave says:

    Usually I’m the optimist, but let’s remember that this is just a 40 minute sample. Lots of hockey left for these guys in their Rangers careers.