The Rangers will play the third game of a six-game road trip where they’ll look for their fourth straight win (7:30 P.M. ET, MSG, NBCSN).
|Rangers||East Division Ranks /8||Penguins|
The Rangers defeated the Devils for the second time in three days after their second six-goal performance in Newark. The Rangers got a pair of goals from Ryan Strome whereas Adam Fox, Kevin Rooney, Libor Hajek, and Filip Chytil each recorded a goal. Chytil’s goal was his first since returning from injury.
“The 1st game was skating and battling,” said Chytil. “The hand didn’t feel that good, but I feel like every shift is getting better. Today, I think that was a good game from my side, but I think I can be way better”
The Rangers will be seeking their fourth straight win with a quick turnaround against the Penguins. This will be the Rangers third game in four days as they look to close the gap to the fifth place Penguins. For the Penguins, they will be looking to leapfrog the Philadelphia Flyers in the standings as they too play their third game in four days.
Jacob Trouba is very close to returning and he could even return on Sunday night. Trouba suffered a broken thumb and has been practicing with the Rangers for the past week. “Trouba’s very, very close to playing,” said head coach David Quinn. “He’ll travel with the team to Pittsburgh. I’d be stunned if we don’t see him on the trip.”
Igor Shesterkin will not be available for the Rangers on Sunday night. Shesterkin is still day-to-day with a groin strain but will make the trip to Pittsburgh.
“We’re going back and forth right now,” Quinn said when asked about his starting goalie for Sunday night. Alex Georgiev made 24 saves in a winning effort on Saturday afternoon. Georgiev will likely get the chance to go back-to-back but Quinn could elect to give Keith Kinkaid his first start as a Ranger. Kinkaid was called up from the taxi squad in Shesterkin’s absence. Kinkaid holds a career .905 save percentage.
With Tristan Jarry winning against Philadelphia on Saturday, Casey DeSmith is expected to get the start for the Penguins. DeSmith is 1-1-0 against the Rangers and has allowed six goals in two games this season.
The Penguins leading point scorers are Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby who each have seven goals and 21 points. Pittsburgh is a dangerous team on home ice and have been very tough to beat. They are 9-2-0 and those nine wins are second-most in the league. They also have Evgeni Malkin and Jared McCann who each have five-game home point streaks.
The Rangers will be looking to shut down the Penguins top guys and continue their hot play. Since February 18th, the Rangers have registered 12 points which are the fifth most in the league with a game in hand. The Blueshirts offense has been the second-best and their goals-against average is in the top ten. The powerplay is at a respectable 22.6% and the penalty kill is at an astonishing 92.6%.