For the fourth and final time this season, the Rangers and Penguins will square off in what could be a first-round playoff preview. The Penguins took the first two games in decisive fashion, but the Rangers demolished the Penguins just the other day. The new guys all made a contribution, and the Penguins are still with their injury woes.
As of today, the Rangers sit in 8th place in the Eastern Conference with 39 points, one point behind the Islanders (OTL against Washington last night) and tied in points with the Devils (hold the tie breaker). The Jets (38 points) and Flyers (37 points) are dangerously close in that rear-view mirror as well. Every point matters at this stage of the season.
On the ice, nothing has changed. The Pens still play a 2-1-2 forecheck, a variation of zone defense and man-on-man in the defensive zone, an umbrella power play, and a diamond penalty kill. There’s nothing these two teams can throw at each other that would shock the opposition.
For more on Tortorella’s systems read here.
2012-2013 Records: Penguins (18-16-2), Rangers (17-15-3)
NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (13-17-30)
PIT Leading Scorer: Chris Kunitz (20-25-45)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (31 GP, 2.15 GAA, .924 SV%)
PIT Goaltender: Marc-Andre Fleury (26 GP, 2.34 GAA, .916 SV%)
Rick Nash-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Ryane Clowe-Brad Richards-Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin-Derek Brassard-Brian Boyle
Taylor Pyatt-Darroll Powe-Arron Asham
Michael Del Zotto-Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh-Anton Stralman
John Moore-Steve Eminger
Scratches/Injuries: Mike Sauer (concussion), Marc Staal (eye), Matt Gilroy (healthy), Roman Hamrlik (healthy), J.T. Miller (healthy)
Broadcast Info: MSG, 7pm
Torts’ post-practice interview from Thursday: