Blue Seat Blogs

Game 21: Sweep the home and home

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After Monday night’s dominating win in Pittsburgh, the Penguins are in MSG tonight on the tail end of the home-and-home. The Rangers have a major opportunity here. They can make a big time statement with a win tonight, thus sweeping the home-and-home. A win says they are for real, and it is a signal to the rest of the league that they need to be taken seriously.

The lineups are the same. The goaltending matchup likely will be the same. But now the teams will face off after seeing each other and being able to adjust to the style of play. The Rangers appeared to take the Penguins by surprise with their speed in the second and third periods on Monday. Will the Penguins adjust? Can the Rangers contain the Penguins speed and come out with a better first period? We shall see.

Penguins Systems

The best part about facing the Penguins is that the Rangers faced them last year. So I have a very detailed systems comparison between the two teams. Go check it out here.

If you don’t want to read it, here’s the long and short of it. Mike Sullivan has the Penguins running a 2-1-2 forecheck, much like Sully used to have when he was an assistant here under John Tortorella. The Penguins run a full zone in the defensive zone, overloading the boards and switching to a box+1 depending on puck location. On special teams, Sully runs a 1-3-1/umbrella hybrid powerplay and a full fledged zone hybrid (box, diamond, wedge+1) penalty kill.

For more details on hockey systems, check out our Systems page.

Penguins Lines:

Carl HagelinSidney Crosby-Conor Sheary
Jake Guentzel-Evgeni MalkinPhil Kessel
Scott Wilson-Nick Bonino-Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl-Matt Cullen-Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang
Olli Maata-Travor Daley
Justin Schultz-Ian Cole

PP1: Crosby-Sheary-Kessel-Malkin-Letang
PP2: Guentzel-Bonino-Wilson-Daley-Schultz

Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start.

Rangers Lines:

Chris KreiderKevin HayesMats Zuccarello
Michael GrabnerDerek StepanRick Nash
Jimmy VeseyBrandon PirriJ.T. Miller
Josh Jooris-Oscar LindbergJesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalBrady Skjei
Nick HoldenKevin Klein

PP1: Kreider-Miller-Pirri-Zucc-McDonagh
PP2: Nash-Stepan-Vesey-Hayes-Girardi

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Injuries/Scratches: Mika Zibanejad (leg), Adam Clendening (healthy), Pavel Buchnevich (upper body), Matt Puempel (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: Sweeeeeeep.

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