Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers – 12-8-14
7:07PM EST: I don’t believe the Rangers will remain in the lottery (they certainly will be able to catch Washington). Nevertheless, if the season were to end today, the Rangers would have a 3% chance of winning the lottery.
Olli Maatta will be out of the lineup tonight.
7:11PM EST: Henrik Lundqvist’s numbers are pretty surprising. The squad must not be playing well in front of him.
7:15PM EST: McDonagh has only played in 14 games this season, which could have contributed to Lundqvist’s poor numbers. Regardless, the Pens need a winger with a scoring touch on Crosby’s line. That was a golden opportunity.
7:22PM EST: Brian Dumoulin’s skating is definitely impressive. His passes could be more accurate, but he’s playing with confidence.
7:26PM EST: Malkin’s work with Comeau reminds me of his play with Ruslan Fedotenko. If they continue to play well together, the signing would have to be considered a major steal for the organization. Jim Rutherford very well may have found Malkin’s Pascal Dupuis.
7:29PM EST: Mike Johnston’s book is on my to-read list. The former Portland Winterhawks coach has developed plenty of NHL draft picks, including Derrick Pouliot.
7:33PM EST: 1-0 Penguins on a one-timer from Nick Spaling.
7:35PM EST: Jayson Megna showed off his great speed on that icing call. He has all of the physical attributes he needs to stay in this league.
7:38PM EST: You just have to be impressed with how Simon Despres is performing at the NHL level. On a single shift, he disrupted a zone entry by Martin St. Louis and forced the puck into the corner, attacked the Rangers along the boards, and made sure his stick was always in the passing lanes.
7:40PM EST: Zach Sill’s penalty call during the previous game against the Ottawa Senators was a bit suspect. However, he really needs to limit his trips to the penalty box. Sill only plays 6:57 per game, yet he came into tonight’s game with 37 penalty minutes.
7:45PM EST: 1-0 Penguins at the end of the first period. It’s great to see Simon Despres and Robert Bortuzzo on the penalty kill. Both players have the potential to be major special teams contributors.
7:55PM EST: I have to say that Jay Caufield’s telestrations have improved over time. It could be that the Pens are playing a smarter brand of hockey under Mike Johnston, and / or it could be that Caufield’s skills have improved.
8:10PM EST: JT Miller scores for the Rangers. 1-1 Tie. It’s pretty crazy to think that an East Palestine, Ohio native is playing in the NHL.
8:14PM EST: Bortuzzo’s “Get North” habit almost cost the Penguins. Passing to Ehrhoff behind the net would have ended that extended New York Rangers shift before it even began.
8:19PM EST: 2-1 Rangers. Poor defensive coverage from both Martin, who was responsible for the first Rangers goal, and Dumoulin, a left-handed rookie playing on the right side.
8:26PM EST: Ehrhoff’s slapshot is on display on this Penguins power play. It’s a beauty.
8:32PM EST: Dan Boyle was a terrific signing by Glen Sather. At the very least, he was a better option that giving Stralman a five-year deal.
8:40PM EST: 2-1 Rangers after two periods. The home team has taken the momentum away from the Pens.
9:06PM EST: The fourth line generated a good scoring opportunity. If the Pens are to succeed, I need to be able to write that sentence a lot more often.
9:07PM EST: Malkin and Comeau’s hard work generated a good scoring chance. Dumoulin seems a bit tentative with the puck. Perhaps Nash’s goal has rattled him?
9:10PM EST: Props to Dan Potash for the “Dumb and Dumber” reference.
9:13PM EST: The Penguins are generating some momentum by dumping and chasing. The Rangers don’t like to retrieve and push the puck up the ice.
9:16PM EST: A great shift for the Malkin line was cut short by a tipped over net. The Pens are making a lot of great East-West passes in the offensive zone to maintain control of the puck.
9:19PM EST: Simon Despres is being moved up the lineup. It’s about time.
9:20PM EST: Backbreaking goal for the Pens. 3-1 Rangers. Pens fans probably really wish they had signed Kevin Hayes. Paul Martin has been on the ice for all three Rangers goals. Brian Dumoulin was caught up the ice, per Steiggy.
9:24PM EST: Malkin scores, 3-2 Rangers. He was the beneficiary of Brandon Sutter’s hard work. I don’t like the line, but it’s working right now.
9:25PM EST: Steve Downie puts it in the net. 3-3 Tie. I have to give credit to Paul Martin for jumping into the rush.
9:34PM EST: Both teams will be receiving a point for this contest.
9:35PM EST: Does anyone else find the Baierl lady to be a bit irksome?
9:38PM EST: Brandon Sutter has emerged as a real offensive threat this year. His long reach and instincts are an asset to the team.
9:44PM EST: 4-3 Rangers. Kevin Klein hammers one away for the Rangers. Considering the fact that Kunitz, Horqnvist, Letang, Maatta, and Bennett are all out with injuries, the Pens should be happy with the “loser point”.