New York Rangers Vs Pittsburgh Penguins 7pm Tonight

RangersNHL RankingsPenguins
4thNHL Standing Rank9th
  • Rangers lead the season series 2-1. A win tonight against their potential first-round opponent should give them confidence if these two teams do indeed meet
  • The Rangers’ high tempo pressure caused Pittsburgh issues in their own zone. Have to think head coach Gerard Gallant is thinking about using a speedy fourth line again
  • Igor Shesterkin is expected to get the start in goal. Shesterkin has struggled during the past 30 days but an opportunity against the Penguins should be something he is looking forward to. The Russian goaltender has allowed just four goals in three games against the Penguins this season
  • Artemi Panarin will play in his 500th career game on Thursday night. Among undrafted skaters, Panarin ranks 6th in total points
  • Kevin Rooney and Kaapo Kakko have both been skating prior to practice on Wednesday. The Blueshirts hope they can get that back into the lineup by the end of next week or earlier if possible. With the playoffs set to begin at the beginning of May, it is important for these two to be back in game shape and shake off the rust
  • Where does Kakko fit into the lineup upon returning? Rooney will play on the fourth line with a combination of Tyler Motte, Barclay Goodrow, Dryden Hunt, and Ryan Reaves. What about Kakko? Do you go with a kid line of the Finn with Alexis Lafreniere and Filip Chytil? Does Andrew Copp potentially slide down a line to give some balance?
  • I think the Rangers’ defense deserves a little bit of credit. At one point in the season, the Rangers were one of the worst teams in terms of shots against per game. They have since clawed their way to 14th overall
  • Over the past seven games, the Rangers have not allowed more than 26 shots on goal in a game. 31 of the 32 teams in the NHL average over 28 shots per game
  • I personally think the Rangers’ best third-line defensive pair is with Braden Schneider in the lineup. Have to wonder if Gallant wants to see Justin Braun on the left side in a potential playoff matchup
  • It’s not being talked about much, but the Rangers could still win the Metro Division. They trail the Hurricanes by just two points and Carolina has a game in hand. The Blueshirts play the Hurricanes two more times this season at Madison Square Garden
  • Are the Rangers even slightly thinking about potential playoff matchups? Winning the metro division would set up a matchup with the wildcard from the Atlantic Division. Toronto, Tampa Bay, and Boston are all juggling for playoff position with the Lightning currently in the wildcard position. With all due respect to the Penguins, would you rather face them or the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions? The second seed in the Metro will get home-ice advantage in the first round plus avoid what could be an even tougher first round
  • Thursday night’s game against the Penguins is nationally televised on ESPN+

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