PENGUINS (24-10-1, 49 pts) @ RANGERS (16-17-1, 33 pts)
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will remain out of the lineup and did not travel with the team to New York. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma told reporters today that Malkin has also been ruled out for Thursday’s game at home against the Minnesota Wild. Malkin, though, skated back in Pittsburgh and is not likely to miss much more time.
Meanwhile, the Penguins will have one lineup change tonight against the Rangers.
Brian Gibbons replaces the injured Jason Megna in the lineup and will skate on the second line with Harry Zolnierczyk and Jussi Jokinen. Megna was placed on IR Tuesday and is not eligible to return to the lineup until after Christmas.
None of the Penguins injured players are due to return tonight.
The Penguins face a struggling Rangers team hovering around .500 all season and are 1-3-1 in a nine game stand. New York, though, probably played their best game of the season vs the Penguins on November 6th, a Rangers 5-1 win. “We got spanked,” Dan Bylsma said of the loss.
Via Stats LLC, the Rangers have trailed for a total of 264 minutes, 2 seconds over their last four-plus games, while the Penguins have trailed for just 3 minutes, 12 seconds in its last six games.
The goaltending matchup tonight. Henrik Lundqvist is 2-0-1 with a 0.97 goals-against average in his last three starts versus Pittsburgh. He goes tonight for the Rangers. Marc Andre Fleury is playing outstanding hockey right now and has a 1.42 GAA and .952 save percentage over his last seven starts. However, he’s struggled at MSG of late, giving up 11 goals in his last two starts here, both losses.
It will be a pretty special night for the Samuelsson’s as Ulf Samuelsson, Rangers assistant coach, will get to coach against his son tonight.
PENGUINS LINES & D-PAIRS
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Harry Zolnierczyk – Jussi Jokinen – Brian Gibbons
Chris Conner – Brandon Sutter – Joe Vitale
Craig Adams – Zach Sill – Chuck Kobasew
Olli Maatta – Matt Niskanen
Brian Dumoulin – Robert Bortuzzo
Simon Despres – Philip Samuelsson