RangersNHL Regular Season RankingsPenguins
7thNHL Standing Rank12th
RangersNHL Postseason RankingsPenguins
N/ANHL Standing RankN/A


               The Blueshirts won three of four meetings with the Pittsburgh Penguins including the three most recent games:

Game 1 on 2/26 – PIT win 1-0 – NYR PP went 0-2. PIT PP went 1-2

Game 2 on 3/25 – NYR win 5-1 – NYR PP went 1-4. PIT PP went 0-1

Game 3 on 3/29 – NYR win 3-2 – NYR PP went 1-1. PIT PP went 1-3

Game 4 on 4/7 – NYR win 3-0 – NYR PP went 0-3. PIT PP went 0-2

Leading goal & point scorers:

NYR – Chris Kreider and Frank Vatrano each scored three goals against the Penguins. Kreider and Mika Zibanejad recorded six points each.

PIT – No Penguins skater scored more than one goal in the season series. Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Kris Letang each had two points.



Tyler Motte – Upper-body injury – potential return later in the first round according to Gerard Gallant.

Sammy Blais – Torn ACL – Not expected to return this season


Tristan Jarry – Lower-body injury – Ruled out the first two games of the series with the potential to return in game three

Jason Zucker – Undisclosed injury – Was ruled out for games one and two but Zucker has been skating which could accelerate his timetable

Nathan Beaulieu – Lower-body injury – expected to be available for selection for Game one



               The Blueshirts are led by their top two lines to lead the way. This includes Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome who have formed a dynamic partnership. Panarin recorded 96 points this season while Strome chipped in for 54. Since the trade deadline, Panarin has 24 points in 17 games while Strome has 11 points in 15 games.


               Pittsburgh is led by their two superstars down the middle – Crosby, and Malkin. Both have averaged over a point-per-game over the course of the season but since the trade deadline, Crosby has 23 points in 19 games while Malkin has 17 points in 14 games.  


               The two teams are each led by a superstar that is tough to play against. For the Rangers, it’s the reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox while for the Penguins it’s Kris Letang. Fox finished fourth on the Rangers in scoring with 74 points while Letang recorded 68 points. Both defensemen are expected to see over 20 minutes a night easily and they could each push 30 minutes under the right circumstances.


Igor Shesterkin: 36-13-4 with .935 save percentage and a 2.07 goals-against average

Shesterkin vs PIT: 3-0-1 with a .960 save percentage and a 1.01 goals-against average

Casey DeSmith – 11-6-5 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.74 goals-against average

DeSmith vs NYR: Didn’t start any game and only faced three shots from a Rangers player this season. DeSmith started five of the last six games for the Penguins with a .940 save percentage and a 2.24 goals-against average.

               The big advantage for the Blueshirts is the goaltending. Igor Shesterkin is the favorite to win the Hart Trophy while the Penguins will be without their starting goalie Tristan Jarry to start the series. The Blueshirts need to win each game without Jarry to give themselves the best opportunity of advancing in the playoffs.

               One thing the Rangers can’t do is underestimate the Penguins because they will be starting their backup goaltender Casey DeSmith. DeSmith is a more than capable goaltender and had respectable backup numbers for the Penguins this season. If you look back at history, journeyman goaltender Jeff Zatkoff started for Pittsburgh against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers for game one.  With Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray both dealing with injuries, the Penguins won game one despite the Blueshirts having a significant advantage in goal. History can repeat itself if the Rangers aren’t careful.


               An important figure for the Rangers is Barclay Goodrow. The Blueshirts acquired Goodrow from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the offseason for a 7th-round draft pick. Goodrow was handed a handsome six-year contract that Tampa Bay simply couldn’t afford. The 29-year-old is a winner of back-to-back Stanley Cups. Goodrow knows what it takes to get the job done and it won’t be surprising to see if he is on the ice down the stretch, especially when protecting a lead.

Projected Lineup











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