After an ugly win against Calgary, where the Rangers made some baby steps in the right direction, the Metropolitan Division leading Pittsburgh Penguins are in town. The Pens are beaten up, with half of their defense (Orpik, Martin, Scuderi) and two key scorers (Malkin, Neal) either injured or suspended. If you’re going to catch Pittsburgh at any point, now is the time to catch them.
Dan Bylsma has the Penguins running an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck in the offensive zone and encourages puck pursuit in most situations. In the DZ, Pittsburgh uses a low zone collapse, taking out shooting lanes and protecting the slot. The Pens are ranked 4th in the league in blocked shots and still average over 3 goals a game. On special teams, they run a 1-3-1/umbrella power play which is ranked first in the league, clicking at an incredible 26% rate. They employ a diamond force penalty kill, which they also execute real well as they are 2nd in the NHL just behind Vancouver.
Rangers Lineup (unconfirmed):
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.
Game time is 8pm tonight on NBCSN. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.