The New York Rangers are currently riding a three-game point streak which they hope to continue against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 P.M. ET, NBCSN).
The Blueshirts are coming off a wild 6-5 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers. Rangers goal scorers included Ryan Lindgren tallying his first career goal, Filip Chytil, Brady Skjei, Kaapo Kakko and Chris Kreider. Kakko also added the only marker for the Rangers in the shootout. With two assists, Artemi Panarin extended his point streak to eight games.
“The toughest word in this league is consistency,” said Henrik Lundqvist. “You need so much from every player. That’s something we just have to continue to work on, but I think that’s the key.” Lundqvist made 30 saves in a losing effort.
When we get some goals, all of a sudden, our mindset tends to change,” said head coach David Quinn. “We just have to continue to focus on playing the right way and being committed to playing defense.” The Blueshirts are without Marc Staal for the next two weeks and only have six healthy defenders on the NHL roster. Brendan Smith who plays defense on the penalty kill could be called upon in an emergency situation.
Mika Zibanejad who has missed the past six games will be unavailable for Tuesday’s game against the Penguins. In addition, Zibanejad won’t make the trip to Florida for two road games against the Panthers and Lightning.
“I think some injuries are unpredictable, and he’s got one that is a little bit unpredictable,” Quinn said.
While the Rangers will continue life without their top center, the Penguins will begin life without their number one centerman. Sidney Crosby is being evaluated for a lower-body injury and will miss his first game of the season.
“Right now, all I know is he’s continuing to be evaluated and when I have further information, I will let you know,” said Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan. The severity of Crosby’s injury is currently unknown.
Surprisingly, the weak part of the Penguins game has been their powerplay. With many offensive weapons, the Penguins have just the 28th ranked powerplay in the league. Pittsburgh finished last season with the fifth-ranked powerplay.
Sullivan was asked how the powerplay looked in practice on Monday: “I don’t know how to respond to that,” Sullivan said. “We scored some goals so that’s progress. I do believe part of the solution is simplifying everything you do, shooting more and getting more people to the net.”
After sitting for three games, Alex Georgiev will make the start for the Rangers. Georgiev gave up six goals in his last start against the Senators. Prior to that, the 23-year-old allowed one goal each against Nashville and Tampa Bay in two victories.
Across the ice, Matt Murray will get the nod for the Penguins. Murray is 9-3-1 with a 2.35 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.
The Rangers will celebrate Veterans Day and honor those who served on Tuesday night. To anyone who has ever served – we thank you for your service and we salute you.
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