Rangers set to take on Penguins on the road; Stepan and Kreider red-hot
Following their win in Columbus, the Rangers (25-13-4) will finish their road trip against their division rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins (26-11-6), who sit just four points ahead of the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division standings.
The Penguins are coming off of a crushing loss to the New York Islanders, giving up a 3-2 lead with four Islanders goals in the third period. Marc-Andre Fleury gave up five goals on 34 shots, and All-Star Sidney Crosby finished the game with two goals and an assist, giving him 50 points (14-36-50) on the season. Crosby also has an impressive 12 points in his last six games.
The Rangers will be playing their third game in four nights, and are coming off of a rebound win over the Blue Jackets. Marc Staal was the Ranger to end New York’s goal drought at 146:59, scoring his second goal of the season. Chris Kreider added his ninth goal of the season a few minutes later on a breakaway, and Henrik Lundqvist was sensational again, making 35 saves for his 21st victory of the season.
The Rangers have been rolling as of late, winning 14 of their last 17 games since December 8th, which was an overtime victory over the Penguins. The Rangers have also won five of their last six road games. However, Pittsburgh is 16-6-2 at the CONSOL Energy Center.
A big part of the Rangers success against Columbus was their penalty kill, which shut down the number-two power play in the league on all three opportunities. The Penguins are just as good in that department, with the fifth overall power play. The Rangers penalty kill, and Lundqvist, will need to be strong again on Sunday in Pittsburgh.
After two strong games, Tanner Glass will return to Pittsburgh, playing his third consecutive game since being a healthy scratch for six straight contests. Glass only has one point, an assist, in 31 games this season, but has been effective as an aggressive fourth line grinder, totaling 14 hits in the last two games, and playing on the Rangers strong penalty kill unit. Against a big and tough Penguins team, Glass brings grit, energy, and will stand up for his teammates.
Derek Stepan was back in the Rangers lineup on Friday, and was involved in both of the Rangers goals, picking up two primary assists. Stepan is averaging a point-per-game, with 29 points (6-23-29) in 29 games this season. Stepan has four multipoint games in his last nine contests, and has a point in 19 of his 29 games this season.
Chris Kreider also continues improve after an early season slump, with three game winning goals in his last seven games. Kreider has at least a point in four of his last eight games, with six points (4-2-6) in that span. Seven of his nine goals have come on the road this season, and Kreider’s speed is an extreme threat every game.
The Rangers have nine road wins in their last 11 road games, as well as an impressive 12-3-1 record against Metropolitan Division opponents, earning at least a point in 13 of their last 14 intra division games (12-1-1).
The Rangers and the Penguins will faceoff on Sunday, with coverage beginning at 12:30 PM. The game will be broadcasted on NBC.
Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis
Carl Hagelin-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast
Tanner Glass-Dominic Moore-Lee Stempniak
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Dan Boyle
Matt Hunwick-Kevin Klein
Posted on January 18, 2015, in Game Previews and tagged Alain Vigneault, Cam Talbot, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Dominic Moore, Evgeni Malkin, Henrik Lundqvist, Jesper Fast, John Moore, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Lee Stempniak, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, MSG, MSL, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, Penguins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rangers, Rangers Nation, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Sidney Crosby, Tanner Glass, Tanner Glass fight, The Ranger Zone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.