Pittsburgh Penguins Return Home to Battle the New York Rangers in Game 3


The Pittsburgh Penguins return home tonight for game 3 vs. the New York Rangers. After a solid, yet ineffective effort in game 1, Pittsburgh evened the series at 1 by defeating New York 4-3 on Saturday night.

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In game 2, the Pittsburgh Penguins received contributions from their stars, as well as a few role players. Sidney Crosby finished the contest with two goals, while Pittsburgh also received goals from Brandon Sutter and Chris Kunitz.

One of the more impressive pieces to this series so far is the play of Brian Dumoulin and Taylor Chorney. And, considering the lines at the game day skate, it looks like those two will man the bottom defensive pairing yet again.

Christian Ehrhoff was absent from the morning skate and Mike Johnston stated afterwards that he didn’t skate because he isn’t progressing.  This is very alarming news as he has been slated to return very soon. I’m not necessarily against the Pittsburgh Penguins running the same lines as game 2, however, as the result was obviously positive.

The line rushes from this morning’s practice are as follows.

Kunitz – Crosby – Hornqvist
Winnik – Malkin – Perron
Bennett – Sutter – Downie
Spaling – Lapierre – Comeau

Martin – Lovejoy
Scuderi – Cole
Dumoulin – Chorney

Scott Wilson rotated in line rushes with Beau Bennett on the third line. And considering that Mike Johnston stated that their lineup hasn’t been set for tonight following practice, we could see a change there.

Players to Watch – Rangers
I’m going back to my initial key in this series, and that is Rick Nash. Historically, Nash has been invisible in the playoffs. But, after a 42-goal regular season, I can’t imagine he’ll be in hiding for much longer.

Henrik Lundqvist has a knack for stepping up in big games. Tonight, as the Rangers risk falling behind 2-1 in the series and having to play another game in Pittsburgh, I’d expect him to be in top form. Goals won’t be easy to come by tonight.

Players to Watch – Pittsburgh
The trio of Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, and Patric Hornqvist was spectacular in game 2. Crosby looks to have found that next level, and Kunitz may have found his hands again. With the chemistry that those two possess blended with Hornqvist’s ability to crash the net and cause havoc, the Rangers could have their hands full.

Keys to the Game
Do I have to say it? Okay, I will. Stay out of the box! When I discussed this matchup based on numbers, found here, they reflected that the Pittsburgh Penguins hold many advantages during 5v5 play and have a great shot at defeating the New York Rangers. That has been evidenced through the first two games of the series. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to march to the penalty box. They’re playing with fire, and this Rangers power play will eventually start making them pay.

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