The Blueshirts are in Pittsburgh where they continue their long week against the Penguins (3:00PM on ABC).

4th League Rank25th 
10th Goals For25th 
5th Goals Against10th 
7th Power play29th 
5th Penalty Kill6th 

Previous Game

New York is coming off a disappointing 6-3 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Blueshirts got off to a great start leading the Lightning 2-0 after the first period. For the first half of the game, the Rangers continued their recent hot play and gave Tampa Bay very little on offense. Up until that point, the previous 10.5 periods was arguably the best team defense they have played in the last decade for a stretch of that length. Unfortunately for New York, they started making mistakes and they lost their structure and their composure. Tampa Bay would score through Brayden Point and former Ranger Anthony Duclair to tie the game before the start of the third period. At the beginning of the third period, the Blueshirts would take the lead once again through Jack Roslovic’s first goal as a member of the Rangers. Roslovic was acquired from Columbus in exchange for a mid-round draft pick at the trade deadline. But ultimately, the third period would be the Point and Nikita Kucherov show as they completely took over and the Rangers had no answers for them. Point would finish the game with six points including a hat trick whereas Kucherov would have himself a five-point night. Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves on 27 shots for the Rangers.

Rangers vs Penguins

The Blueshirts will continue their long week when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. This will be the fourth game of the week with a fifth game coming tomorrow afternoon in less than 24 hours of the start of Saturday’s game. At 1:00PM on Sunday, the Rangers will take on the Islanders. 

Pittsburgh finds themselves hanging on by a thread as the season starts to near its conclusion. The Penguins are five points out of a playoff spot and they must overtake five teams to get to the final wildcard position. Pittsburgh is 3-6-1 in their last ten games and have won just one game out of their last five. Every game is huge for the Penguins at this point and it won’t be any easier as they were sellers at the deadline and most notably sold off Jake Guentzel to the Carolina Hurricanes. Guentzel recorded 52 points in 50 games this season as a member of the Penguins before being traded to Carolina. They also sold defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to the Rangers who has yet to make his debut for New York.

Sidney Crosby leads the Penguins in points with 65 on the season in as many games. Long time teammate Evgeni Malkin has just 50 points this season. Perhaps having the most disappointing season maybe in the entire league is Erik Karlsson. New Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas made a big splash getting the reigning Norris Trophy winner from San Jose this past offseason. The offensive defenseman has just 45 points on the season in 67 games played. In the first 67 games he played last season, the now 33-year-old recorded 84 points – nearly double his current total. 

A big part of the reason for the Penguins struggle has been due to their lack of offense. Defensively, their numbers are good enough to be a playoff team after a quick glance at the raw statistics. Their goals-against-average and penalty kill are top ten in the league and they are a mid-pack team in terms of shots allowed per game.

Starting netminder Tristan Jarry has a respectable .909 save percentage whereas backup goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic has a .903 save percentage on the season. Not the best numbers in the league, but their goaltending has been league average at worst. The Penguins also play back-to-back including an important game against the slumping Red Wings on Sunday evening – one of the teams the Penguins need to jump for a postseason berth. 

The Blueshirts will be looking to bounce-back and re-find that strong defensive level they were playing at prior to the second half of Thursday night’s game. Head coach Peter Laviolette told the media that he wasn’t concerned about any specific player, but did admit that a handful of players were suffering through bumps and bruises. Adam Edstrom was recalled from Hartford and he will join the lineup if any forward is unavailable for the afternoon game. 

With the Rangers playing back-to-back, Jonathan Quick seems likely to get the starting nod against Pittsburgh. Quick has been stellar this season for the Rangers as he has a .917 save percentage on the season. With Sunday’s game arguably more important on home ice against a tougher opponent, one could make an assumption that Laviolette will want to rest Shesterkin on Saturday. The Blueshirts won the first meeting this season between the two sides thanks to a 32-save-shutout by Quick. Alexis Lafreniere scored the Rangers lone goal against the Penguins back in November. 

Matt Rempe will be suspended for the weekend before being eligible to return for a Tuesday night game with the Winnipeg Jets. Rempe has currently served two games of his four-game suspension for an elbow on Devils’ defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler. 

Bet of the Night

The bet of the night is a two-leg parlay. The first leg is picking the Rangers moneyline as the Penguins have struggled and the Rangers need to bounce back with a strong effort. The second leg. The second leg is for Jack Roslovic to record over 1.5 shots. Roslovic has been over this in the last two games, and he was over this line a week ago when he played the Penguins a week ago as a member of the Blue Jackets. A $5 bet at +140 will pay $12 for a profit of $7.

Current record: 20-20

Current Money Total (Based on $5 bets) – We are up $11.77 on the season

Projected Lineup










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