Just a reminder: “The Pittsburgh Penguins will host a clothing drive to benefit Goodwill of Southwestern PA when the Pens take on the New York Rangers Saturday at 1 p.m. at Mellon Arena. Gently-worn clothing items or cash donations will be collected when gates open at 12 noon. The collection will continue through the 10-minute mark of the first period.
New York Rangers (39-27-9-87) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (40-27-8-88)
10/25/08: NYR 3 – PIT 3 SO
12/3/08: NYR 3 – PIT 2 SO
1/5/09: NYR 4 – PIT 0
1/18/09: PIT 3 – NYR 0
1/28/09: PIT 6 – NYR 2
Coaching Changes: Both teams made coaching changes within weeks of each other in February. The Penguins are 13-2-3 under Interim head coach Dan Bylsma.The New York Rangers are 8-4-2 under new head coach John Tortorella
Avery the difference maker: Sean Avery has been a major difference maker since joining the Rangers in early March. Avery has eight points in 11 games and continues to be a pest against the oppositions star players. The Penguins will have to have an answer for Avery. Eric Godard will be in the lineup but he’s not going to limit Avery. Players like Jarkko Ruutu are the kind of players who contain Sean Avery, not enforcers who get 2-3 minutes of ice time. Will Matt Cooke be up to the challenge?
This is the first meeting between the two rivals since the acquisitions of Chris Kunitz, Bill Guerin for the Penguins and Nik Antropov, Derek Morris, Sean Avery for the Rangers. Both teams have a much different look than they did in January.
The Rangers made a few line changes in practice yesterday.
Sjostrom – Drury – Antropov
Avery – Gomez – Callahan
Naslund – Dubinsky – Zherdev
Betts – Korpikoski – Orr
Henrik Lundqvist got the night off against the Thrashers on Thursday and will start in goal against the Penguins.
Penguins Lineup News
The Penguins did not hold a morning skate today but they will go with the same lines they went with against Calgary. Matt Cooke will remain with Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora on the second line. I was told Philippe Boucher will skate in warmups and will be a game time decision. He did not have a good week of practice which will play into Bylsma’s decision. He watched Boucher very closely on Thursday, Friday
Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin
Cooke – Malkin – Sykora
Fedotenko – Staal – Kennedy
Dupuis – Talbot – Godard
Orpik – Gonchar
Eaton – Letang
Gill – Scuderi/Boucher *GTD
Marc Andre Fleury will start in goal