Rangers ready for Penguins rematch; Chris Kreider doubtful with neck spasms
After a difficult loss on the road, the Rangers (11-10-4) will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins (18-6-2) at Madison Square Garden in the third match up between this two teams.
The Rangers have earned three out of a possible four points against the Penguins. The last time that they played, the Rangers lost in the shootout after it was ruled that Dan Boyle double-contacted the puck, meaning no goal.
The last time that the Penguins came to Madison Square Garden, the Blueshirts put forward one of their best efforts of the season, shutting out Pittsburgh by a final score of 5-0.
The Rangers could certainly use another one of those game today, after losing their last two games against Eastern Conference powerhouses.
The Penguins are coming off of a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Evgeni Malkin scored twice, and Christian Erhoff netted the game winner late in the third period.
For the Penguins, Olli Maatta will be a scratch tonight with an undisclosed injury.
For tonight’s game, the Rangers lineup will look a bit different. Chris Kreider is doubtful today due to neck spasms, and is not expected to play. Tanner Glass has been cleared after missing four games with the mumps, and will enter the lineup if Kreider is unavailable. There would also be line changes to accommodate Glass.
John Moore will be back into the Rangers lineup after being a healthy scratch on Saturday. Moore will replace Matt Hunwick, who is a scratch. This could be Alain Vingeault trying to see which player he prefers, or he may have seen something that he did not like from Hunwick. Either way, Moore gets another chance to keep a spot in the lineup.
Henrik Lundqvist will start his 20th game of the season tonight, after Talbotmade 31 of 34 saves in the loss to Detroit. Lundqvist struggled against the Lightning, and the Rangers will need him to be on his “A game” in order to have a chance against the high-powered Penguins offense.
Mats Zuccarello has hit a rough stretch recently, and has not recorded a point in the Rangers last four games, as well as seven of the last nine games. Zuccarello is just one of the few players that need to pick up their offensive game in order to help the Rangers become an all-around more productive team.
Kevin Klein has been the best defenseman for the Rangers while others, like Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal, have struggled early on. Despite not being known for his offensive ability, Klein has scored five goals, a career high, and has equaled his point total from last season in just 24 games. Klein scored against the Penguins in the 5-0 victory on November 11th, and looks to be a factor in tonight’s game.
The Rangers and the Penguins will face off at 7 PM at Madison Square Garden, and the game will be televised on MSG Network.
PROJECTED LINEUPS (Not Confirmed)
Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis
JT Miller-Kevin Hayes-Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass-Dom Moore-Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Dan Boyle
John Moore-Kevin Klein
Posted on December 8, 2014, in Game Previews and tagged Alain Vigneault, Anthony Duclair, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Dominic Moore, Henrik Lundqvist, Jesper Fast, John Moore, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, MSG, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rangers Nation, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, The Duke, The Ranger Zone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.