The Pittsburgh Penguins go into tomorrow nights game with the Rangers getting healthier but struggling at both ends of the ice. And they will get no favors as they face one of the Best Teams in the league, and one that has the momentum of winning the Winter Classic this past Monday and an overtime win against the Florida Panthers tonight.
If they Penguins were completely healthy with Crosby and Letang on the ice, I would feel better about their prospects. But, with as many injuries as they have, it will be tough to snag a victory away from the Rangers.
Once again, Letang and Crosby were not on the ice practicing, further proof they will not be back for a while. Also, something of interest to me. It may be nothing but as I was putting together info for this post, I noticed that Crosby’s injury is now being classified as undisclosed. It was concussion like symptoms but now all of a sudden it is undisclosed. That I think is interesting, and bares some looking at further. Here is the Link. It looks like they will get Martin back and park is day to day. Asham was not on the ice today, he was sat down because of an illness. No body ailments, just sick. Which is good. Especially during a week where they did not play, all they did was practice and heal up. Bortuzzo continues to skate before practice and is feeling better.
At some point, I would expect Evgeni Malkin to stand up and play a dominant game against the Rangers to help his team bouce out of this funk they are in. Also, Jordan Staal did not have a great game the other night and I would also look for him to play better.
As for the Rangers, Gaborick and Callahan both are having good seasons and both played and instrumental part in winning tonight against the Panthers. Both players scored goals and Marian Gaborick scored his in Overtime to win the game. The Ranger’s are also getting very good goal tending when they need it most. Lundqvist has been very good along with Biron and both are boasting 2.0 goals against average or better. One of the few teams in the league that has 2 goalies playing this well. The defense on this team plays great together and they give their Goalie a great chance to win night after night. They way the Rangers play, was described by Penguins Brooks Orpik as nothing flashy but definitely effective.
This game will be played in Pittsburgh with Fleury in the net, and although not announced, I would figure Lundqvist will also get the start for the Rangers. Also, Jordan Staal’s brother Marc Staal returned to the rink from injury on Monday at the Winter Classic after missing 36 games in a row. He will be facing his brother for the first time this season.