Game Thread

Game 78: “Meaningless” game against struggling Pittsburgh

AP Photo/Fred Vuich

The Rangers return home tonight to take on an ailing Penguins club that is having a rough month. The Penguins are dealing with a ton of injuries. As noted by their lineup, they are basically dressing half of their AHL team to deal with their injuries. Seriously, that blue line is a train wreck right now.

I’m expecting this to be a high scoring affair. The forwards on the Rangers should be able to steam roll that Pittsburgh blue line tonight. Meanwhile, the Penguins still have Crosby and Kessel, so they are capable of scoring despite the AHL lineup around them. This is not going to be indicative of any potential playoff matchup, but is the perfect time for the Rangers to get back to proper process in their own end.

Penguins Systems

The best part about facing the Penguins is that the Rangers faced them last year in the playoffs. 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:

Conor Sheary-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Scott Wilson-Carter Rowney-Phil Kessel
Chris Kunitz–Nick Bonino-Patric Hornqvist
Tom Kuhnackl-Matt Cullen-Oskar Sundqvist

Brian Dumoulin-Justin Schultz
Ian Cole-Chad Ruhwedel
Mark Streit-Cameron Gaunce

PP1: Crosby-Bonino-Kessel-Sheary-Schultz
PP2: Kunitz-Cullen-Hornqvist-Ruhwedel-Streit

Matt Murray gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Chris KreiderDerek StepanMats Zuccarello
Pavel BuchnevichMika ZibanejadRick Nash
Michael GrabnerKevin HayesJesper Fast
JT MillerOscar LindbergMatt Puempel

Marc Staal-Kevin Klein
Nick HoldenDan Girardi
Brendan SmithBrady Skjei

PP1: Zibanejad-Buchnevich-Nash-Miller-McDonagh
PP2: Stepan-Hayes-Kreider-Zuccarello-Skjei

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Injuries/Scratches: Ryan McDonagh (undisclosed, day to day, not serious),  Adam Clendening (healthy) Steven Kampfer (healthy), Jimmy Vesey (healthy), Brandon Pirri (healthy), Tanner Glass (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: A Corsi win!

Game time is 7pm. Gifs are on @blueseatblogs. Be sure to follow our snapchat (blueseatblogs) too!

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  • Boy was it hard getting into the blog tonight ……anyhow lets not just win this game tonight…But outplay the other team !!!………LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!!!

  • Irony— Holden makes like Rocket Richard in the O-zone & in the D-zone makes like Igor Ulanov.

  • I am tired of hearing the MSG guys say they are ALMOST scoring. ALMOST IS FOR LOSERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • KRIEDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WE CAN NOT SEEM TO WIN GAMES ANYMORE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Too much inconsistent play, worldbeaters at times & completely inept at other times. Without Lundqvist there is no point tonight.

  • The outcome didn’t matter tonight. We’re clinched and almost certainly destined for a first round date with Montreal.

    Rangers played a better game than they’ve been playing at home recently. Got plenty of chances, solid goaltending, and most importantly Nash continues to score and the team upped the compete level in the third and never gave up. It’s very encouraging to see them fight for the equalizer and even things up with Hank pulled. Shootouts are crap shoots. Process was sound tonight.

    • Solid goaltending, maybe due to the horrorshow of the D in front of him leaking quality chance; he was on a .900 sv% before overtime.

    • Nope, not D’s fault on that one (I know you’re being sarcastic). But not Hank’s fault either. He had that post sealed up, it was just a ridiculous shot from Crosby. He put it right off Hank’s head at the right angle where it deflected back into the net. Take that same shot 99 other times and it’s harmless.

      • I’m in Pittsburgh today, and watched the game with my son in law, who is a big Pens fan. That goal by Cindy was pure luck, and you should have heard their broadcast team, “Crosby is the only player who could do that on a regular basis”, like it was planned???

        The one thing I can say is MSG has quality broadcasters, some of these other outfits really are homers, makes Joe M, sound negative!!!

      • Hank was down on his knees, like all the goalies these days. If he’s standing up, that goal doesn’t go in.

        • True, but to BS the Pitt fan base and say it was a set play by Cindy is a bit of a stretch don’t you think???

          The days of the upright goalie has gone by the way of the Packard automobile!!

      • Before Cindy shot it he was leaning forward off the post … As he shot it he leaned more forward

        • Then his legs were opened up like a teen on Prom Night !

  • When the rangers played mario lemieux , Herb brooks and later michel bergeron would assign Jan Erixon the task of shadowing him every time he was on the ice.
    It never really stopped him, but Lemieux would take penalties out of frustration by wacking erixon with his stick…..

    Point here is WHY doesnt Coach AV try something, anything since every game its crosby who has multiple point games every time we play…..Using Stepan against him tells me AV is not paying attention…..

    I would love to see a faster, more physical player against him…..maybe miller? Kreider? Lindberg? Grabner? Nash?…….

    • come on now, that would require an adjustment, and we can’t expect any changes, it’s not in his DNA!!!!

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