Pittsburgh Penguins: Lessons Learned vs. Rangers

Pittsburgh Penguins, Nick Bjugstad, (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins, Nick Bjugstad, (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers were scheduled to meet in Pittsburgh this evening.  With the league in “pause’ mode, here is a look back at some of the history between the two clubs.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers have played 280 games since 1967. Pittsburgh holds the edge with a record of 127-117-12-23, including a 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Nov. 12, 2019, in their only other game against each other this season.

The first game between the clubs occurred on Oct. 22, 1967, which resulted in a 6-4 loss for the Penguins.

The Best of Times and The Worst of Times

The Penguins recorded 10 goals against the Rangers on one occasion, Apr. 9, 1993.

Mario Lemieux put on a clinic, as he collected the second 5 goal game of his career. Joe Mullen also had a strong performance scoring the11th and final hat-trick of his career. Kevin Stevens and Rick Tocchet each added three assists, as Pittsburgh took the contest by a score of 10-4.

The Rangers best game vs. the Penguins occurred on Nov. 25, 1992, in an 11-3 thrashing at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh.

Lemieux opened the scoring for the Penguins just 14 seconds into the first period, but things went downhill from there.

Mark Messier scored two goals and 6 points, Adam Graves had three goals and 5 points, Brian Leetch and Darren Turcotte each contributed four points and the Rangers decimated the Penguins on home ice.

Leading Scorers

Sidney Crosby is the leading scorer against the Rangers. Crosby has scored 33 goals and 89 points in 67 games played (GP), Evgeni Malkin holds second with 28 goals ad 59 points in 58 GP. Kris Letang – 35 points, Patric Hornqvist – 12 points, and Jake Guentzel – 9 points round out the top 5 scorers.

Leading Goaltenders

Matt Murray holds the best record and goals-against-average (GAA) against the Rangers. Murray is 6-0-2 in 8 GP vs. New York with a GAA of 2.58. Tristan Jarry ranks second with a GAA of 3.05 and a record of 1-2-0 in 3 GP. Casey DeSmith takes third place with a GAA of 4.39 and a record of 1-0-1 in 2 GP.

Down but Not Out

Pittsburgh and New York have had some competitive playoff series over the years. but If you had to select a game of the 1992 Stanley Cup playoffs that could have derailed the Penguins hopes of winning back-to-back titles, it would be game 2 of the Patrick Division Finals.

Pittsburgh faced a New York team looking to end a 52-year championship drought and a team that was the top team in the NHL that season, capturing the President’s Trophy with a record of 50-25-5.

When the Penguins lost Mullen to a knee injury that shelved him for the rest of the post-season and Lemieux to a gnarly slash from Graves, things looked grim for the defending champs at the conclusion of the second game.

Although the series was tied at a game each, it appeared that the pendulum had swung in favor of New York.

What the Rangers didn’t anticipate was the heart of the Penguins, who rallied around their fallen teammates and found a way to capture the next three of four games and win the series in 6 games.

Tom Barrasso, Stevens, Jaromir Jagr and the rest of the roster found ways to defy the odds and earn a to the Conference Finals and a match-up against Boston, all without a goal from Lemieux, Mullen or Bob Errey.

Enemy Lines

Here are a few players that have crossed enemy lines during the course of their careers:

Lou Angotti, Don Awrey, Matthew Barnaby, Nick Beverley, Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Kovalev, Rico Fata, Alexandre Daigle.