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Game 42: The Captain returns in Pittsburgh

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Ryan Callahan returns from his third injury (wrist, thumb, knee) this season as the Rangers are in Pittsburgh taking on the Metropolitan Division leading Penguins. The Rangers are 5-2-1 in their last 8 games, while the Penguins went 11-3 in December. One of those wins was in the shootout over the Rangers, so suffice it to say the Penguins are white-hot right now. This will not be an easy matchup, even with a fully healthy squad.

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 defense, taking out lanes and protecting the slot. The Pens are ranked 5th in the league in blocked shots and still average over 3 goals a game.

On special teams, they run a 1-3-1 power play which is ranked first in the league, clicking at an incredible 25.5% rate. They employ a diamond force penalty kill, which they’re ranked 2nd in the league behind the Canucks.

Rangers Lineup:

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Mats Zuccarello
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Ryan Callahan
Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
John Moore-Connor Allen

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches: Michael Del Zotto (healthy), Justin Falk (healthy), J.T. Miller (healthy)

Game time is 7pm tonight on MSG2. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.

10 Responses to “Game 42: The Captain returns in Pittsburgh”

  1. Walt says:

    This is going to be a major test for Connor Allen tonight. He is a decent skater, but against the Pens, he has to stay on his toes!!!!!!

    Matched up with Staal is a good move!!!!

  2. @Centerman21 says:

    I really hope he (Callahan) is 100% healthy. I hope he isn’t rushing back just to play bland hockey like he was before his injury. I didn’t think he was 100% before this knee injury. I personally think the thumb was bothering him still. He is the leader on this team and his play on the ice is how he gets through to his teammates. Let’s hope the Rangers can keep the winning going so they can stay in the hunt for the playoffs.

    • Dave says:

      That’s my main concern too. He always comes back 2 weeks before everyone says he will be back.

      • @Centerman21 says:

        Callahan isn’t a PPG player. He has 30 goal ability but does much more on the ice. “All the little things” as they say. When he isn’t able to play that way he’s not really effective. He was barely noticeable tonight. If it wasn’t reported i might not have known he was playing.

  3. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    The Rangers are just not in the same league as the Penguins right now.

    • @Centerman21 says:

      The Rangers beat the Pens 5-1 the 1st time they played. That is a sizable win. I think the Rangers can beat the Pens any night. Just have to want it more.

  4. joe719 says:

    Did anybody really think they would show up tonight? They look like a dead-ass team just waiting to be put out of their misery. And tomorrow night, all of Canada will have the pleasure of watching this disaster for themselves. It just never gets any better; and it won’t until a major move is made.

  5. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Every player except McDonagh, Lundqvuist, Talbot, Allen, Girardi, Zuccarello, Kreider, Miller, Brassard, Stepan, Callahan and Brassard to me is a trade worthy asset. Only reason Staal is not on here is all dependent on if he signs with us or not. I miss Trots