Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers Game Preview

Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers

February 26.2022

Puck Drop 2pm Est

Location:  PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

By The Numbers…as of Feb25.2022

Recent History: 2020-21 Covid-19 Season (Penguins 6 Wins – 2 Losses)

Current: 2021-22 – They have not played each other yet, this season.

Last year, the Penguins beat up on the Rangers, in the Covid-Metro Division.  The Rangers were, and are, in the middle of a rebuild.  The Penguins were, and are, trying to win the Stanley Cup.

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The Rangers got off the fast start to the season, putting together a 4-game winning streak in mid to late October. Then, they went 11-1 from Nov 08 to Dev07.2021.  This win streak vaulted them up the standings and into First Place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Rangers have been battling injuries to key players, at different times, all season.  Yes, NYR have had players get Covid-19, however not quite like the Islanders, for example.

Familiar faces lead the Rangers again this season, like Panarin, Zibanejad.  However, Chris Kreider is having a career year, scoring 34 goals already (28 was his career high).

The Penguin scoring machine has sprung a leak of late.  Coincidentally, the Pens are on a current 3-game losing streak, and have fallen in the standings, from First place to Third, over the last week.    I would think this is the must win game for the Penguins.  “A Statement Game,” to prove who really owns the Division.  Also, I feel the Penguins need to win this game. Pens to win.

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The Penguins always look forward to these games.  This one is Must-See-TV, and as always, “a must compete at a high-level” game. How do the Pens stack up against the Rangers?

Rangers  - Players to Watch

Panarin #10  -13th Overall in NHL scoring, with 55points.

Zibanejad #93 -17th  Tied Overall in NHL scoring, with 53 points.

Kreider #20 -3rd Overall in the NHL with 34 goals.

Shesterkin #31 – 1st Overall in the NHL with a .940 save % as well as a 1.98 GAA

The Rangers are 4th overall in the NHL in Power Play goals with a 26.2% conversion percentage.

The Rangers are 7th overall in the NHL Penalty Kill, with a 83.7% Kill Rate.

The Pesky Pair of Kreider #20 and Zibanejad #93 have led the Blueshirts and enabled them to hang around with the cool kids, near First Place all season.  The breadman, (Panarin #10), is as advertised, pure excitement, every time he touches the puck.  The kids are coming along.

The Rangers D has been revamped.  There are still cracks in the wall, however, Fox #23 is legit.

It appears we are witnessing the torch being passed from King Henrik Lundqvist #30 to Shesterkin #31.  Igor, Igor, Igor, has played the Rangers into the conversation of Cup Contenders.  He is having the season we knew he could, if he stayed healthy.

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Pittsburgh – Players to Watch

Guentzel #59, -21st in Overall NHL scoring, with 52 points.

Crosby #87, Scored his 500th goal of his career against Phila.  He also has 52 points in 41 games, since returning from injury.

Malkin #71 – Has scored 5 points in the last 4-games.

Penguins Power Play is returning from the dead, with Malkin back in the line-up.  The Pens Power Play that had a 10.8% conversion rate in October, is now at 22.6%, which is ranked 12th overall in the NHL.

Jarry #35, is currently on a personal three game losing streak, his longest of the season.

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Game Analysis / Pens Scouting Report

Pittsburgh Penguins Record 31-14-8 = 70 Pts (3rd in the Metropolitan)

NYR Record 33-13-5 = 71 Pts (2nd in the Metropolitan)

Pittsburgh Goals For 174

NYR Goals For 155

Pittsburgh Goals Against 146

NYR Goals Against 128

Pittsburgh Goal Differential +28

NYR Goal Differential +27

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Pittsburgh Power Play 21.6%

NYR Power Play 26.2%

Pittsburgh Penalty Kill 85.5%

NYR Penalty Kill 83.7%

Pittsburgh Penalty Minutes 346

NYR Penalty Minutes 447

Pittsburgh Shots Per Game 34.9

NYR Shots Per Game 28.7

Pittsburgh Team Faceoff 50.6%

NYR Team Faceoff 47.9%

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Pittsburgh Team Goals Against Average 2.66

NYR Team Goals Against Average 2.47

Pittsburgh Team Save % .916

NYR Team Save % .924

Pittsburgh G – Jarry #35   2.38 GAA

NYR G- Shesterkin #31   1.98 GAA

Pittsburgh G – Jarry #35  .919 Save %

NYR G- Shesterkin #31   .940 Save %

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Key Injuries: New York Rangers

Nemeth – Feb23.22 DTD Personal

Chytil – Feb23.22 DTD Illness

Kakko – Jan21.22 IR Upper Body

Blais – Nov13.21 IR ACL

Key Injuries: Pittsburgh Penguins

Blueger-F Jan22.22 IR Jaw

Zucker -FJan19.22 IR Core Muscle

Domingue-G Jan19.22 ID Lower Body

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Pens Picks Quick View

Offense: Pittsburgh

Defense: Rangers

Special Teams: Tied

Shots Per Game: Pittsburgh

Faceoff Win%: Pittsburgh

My View from the Cheap Seats

I can appreciate the excitement in New York, as the Rangers rebuild is now in Full Fast Forward mode.  I am happy for Krieder #20, who is finally putting the puck in the net with regularity, to go along with his speed and sandpaper.  I am also looking forward to the annual NYR collapse, which will happen between (March 17 to April 16.2022), a little later this year, due to Covid-19.

I always enjoy watching a game like this one.  The Intensity, the Rivalry, the Penguins Victory.  The Penguins have a winning record over the Rangers, winning 132-117 over their history.

I predicted, in my article, “The Penguins vs the Eastern Conference – Part 2”, that this will be a game the Penguins will win.

In my humble opinion, comparing and analyzing the data listed above, in My Scouting Report, I still feel the same way, Penguins to Win.

Quote of the Day

“I’m in a New York State of Mind “

Billy Joel – Singer / Songwriter

Want to see if I’m Correct…see below Highlights..(posted Feb28.22 After my Prediction)