The New York Rangers will be hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night. The Rangers are looking to take three out of four games and win the season series. Here is a breakdown of what to expect.
The first game the Rangers faced the Penguins was on February 26th when they lost 1-0. The lone goal scorer was Evgeni Malkin on a power-play, who just got done recovering from knee surgery from June 2021 and returned in January. Bryan Rust and Sidney Crosby assisted on the play.
Although Igor Shesterkin played a great game, it only took one shot and one goal to end it. The Rangers were never able to recover.
The next game was on March 25th and the Rangers got their revenge. They won 5-1 as Chris Kreider scored twice, while Andrew Copp got his first goal as a Ranger. Alexis Lafreniere and Frank Vatrano also scored for the Rangers. Filip Chytil, Barclay Goodrow, Mika Zibanejad, Kreider, Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome all got assists. Zibanejad had three assists total in their win.
Jeff Carter scored for the Penguins with Kasperi Kapanen and Danton Heinen assisting on the play.
On March 29th, the Rangers won 3-2 against the Penguins in a much tighter matchup. Vatrano, Braden Schneider and Kreider scored for the Rangers. Zibanejad, Kreider, Panarin, Copp and Adam Fox got the assists.
Brian Boyle and Crosby scored for the Penguins. Brian Dumoulin, Kris Letang and Malkin got the assists.
Thursday Night’s Matchup
The players to look out for on the Penguins are Malkin, Letang and Crosby. Malkin has eight points, four of them goals in his last five games. Letang has seven assists in his last five games. Crosby is always a key player in any game, being one of the best in the game. The Rangers need to keep their eyes on him at all times.
For the Rangers, Panarin, Kreider, Fox and Zibanejad are the usual players to watch. Panarin has nine points in his last five games, seven of them assists. Kreider has three goals in his last five games. He also has the franchise record for PPG at 25. Fox is one to look out for. He has proven to be one of the greatest D-men in the game right now and he has definitely racked up assists (57).
Other players to look out for are the Rangers’ Jacob Trouba, Copp, Vatrano, Justin Braun, Schneider and Zac Jones. They seem to make things happen when they are on the ice.
What to Expect
The Rangers are looking to increase their lead over the Penguins. As of right now, the Rangers are ahead by four points. Also, the Rangers are hoping to tie the Carolina Hurricanes in points with 98. The Hurricanes will be hosting the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night and the Rangers hope the Sabres blow the Hurricanes away. If they do tie in points, the Hurricanes will have the tie-breaker because they have one game at hand on the Rangers.
The Penguins are going to try to put a dent in the Rangers’ lead as they look to even the series 2-2. Either way, the Rangers and Penguins both have something to play for. They are looking for playoff position. This is important for home-ice advantage in the playoffs.
So who will it be? Will the Rangers gain more points on the Penguins? Or will the Penguins take matters into their own hands to even the series and cut into the Rangers’ lead? Watch the game on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. to find out.
Featured Image Courtesy of Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images
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