Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers Game Preview March25.22

Pittsburgh Penguins(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers

March 25.2022

Puck Drop 6pm Est

Location:  Madison Square Garden, New York

By The Numbers…as of March 24.22

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

Current: 2021-22 – (Penguins 1 Wins – 0 Losses)

Feb26.22 Pens Win 1-0

The Feb 26th, game was an awesome game to watch.  It was end-to-end action, with big hits at high speed and great goaltending from both Shesterkin and Jarry.  It appears the Penguins and Rangers will be battling it out for the remainder of the season, headed towards an inevitable, intense and fiercely contested, Round 1 matchup in the 2022 NHL Playoffs.

Pittsburgh Penguins are First not Last. light. Trending

Metropolitan Division…as of March 24.22

Team     Points Games Remaining

Canes    90        19

Pens      88        17

NYR     85        18

The Penguins do not play the Canes any more this season.

The Pens play the Rangers, three times, March 25, 29, April 07.2022

NYR plays the Pens three times, as mentioned.  NYR also has upcoming games vs the Canes on April 12 and April 26.2022.

These games alone, will go a long way in determining the final seeding in the Metropolitan Division.

That said, the NHL Trade deadline came and went on March 21.2022.  Let’s take a quick look at the additions and deletions for the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

New York Rangers Additions

Tyler Motte #64 – F – from Vancouver for a 4th Round Pick.

Andrew Copp #18 – F – and a 2023 6th Round Pick from Winnipeg for Morgan Barron, a conditional 2022 2nd Round Pick, and a 2022 or 2023 2nd Round Pick and a 2023 5th Round Pick.

Nick Merkley – F from San Jose for Anthony Bitetto – D.

Justin Braun # 61 – D from Philadelphia for a 2023 3rd Round Pick.

Frank Vatrano #77 – F from Florida for a 4th Round Pick.

This is what I call Depth my friends.  By adding Motte, Copp and Vatrano, NYR basically re-built an entire checking line on their hockey team. These new additions will plug holes in every line on the team, as we speak. Merkley simply adds overall depth, and by adding Braun on the backend, the Rangers have solidified their D.

Now everyone was expecting the Rangers to trade netminder, Georgiev.  By not trading him, NYR have essentially added a quality backup goalie for this years playoffs.

The New York Rangers had a stockpile of draft picks, and cashed in some of those chips, expecting a long Playoff run this year.

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Pittsburgh Penguin Additions

Rickard Rakell #67 – F from the Ducks for Zach Aston-Reese, a 2022 2nd Round Pick and Dominik Simon.

Nathan Beaulieu – D from Winnipeg for a conditional 7th Round Pick.

Well, the Penguins addressed the secondary scoring issue on the team, by adding Rackell.  They have also added depth on D, for the Playoffs.

Now everyone was expecting the Penguins to trade forward, Kapanen.  By not trading him, it tells us there was a limited market for his services, given his current play and contract.  Or the Penguin’s asking price was too high.  Either way #42 is here to stay for this years Playoff run.

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, which appears to be ahead of schedule.  The Penguins were, and are, trying to win the Stanley Cup, this year.

Familiar faces lead the Rangers again this season, like Panarin, Zibanejad.  However, Chris Kreider is having a career year, scoring 42 goals (28 was his career high).

The Rangers, with all their new additions, got spanked by the Devils, 7-4, with Shesterkin (NYR), taking the Loss…ouch, that’s gotta hurt.

The Penguins, with their new additions, lost in a Shoot-Out to Buffalo 4-3…now that’s never fun.

I think both teams will need a little time for the new additions to gel.  I would also think this is the must win game for the Rangers.  “A Statement Game,” to prove who really owns the Division.

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

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Rangers  – Players to Watch

Panarin #10 – F -15th Overall in NHL scoring, with 73 Points.

Kreider #20 – F – 2nd Overall in the NHL, with 42 Goals.

Adam Fox #23 – D – 3rd Overall in NHL scoring, for Defensemen with 64 Points.

Shesterkin #31 –G – 1st Overall in the NHL, with a .936 save %.

The Rangers are 2nd overall in the NHL in Power Play goals with a 26.7% conversion percentage.

The Rangers Penalty Kill is 8th in the NHL, with an 82.0% Kill Rate.

The Ranger Power Play is quarterbacked by Panarin #10, runs thru Fox #23, the shot is then tipped by Kreider #20 or one-timed by Zibanejad #93.

It appears we are witnessing the Rangers overusing their MVP goalie Shesterkin #31.  As we speak, Igor, Igor, Igor, has played the Rangers into the conversation of Cup Contenders, up to this point of the season.  He is having the season we knew he could, if he stayed healthy.  He has also played a lot of hockey this year, appearing in 42 of the Rangers 64 games and he is feeling tired of late.

Penguins – Players to Watch

Crosby #87 – F – 21st Overall in NHL scoring, with 66 Points.

Guentzel #59 -F – 12th Overall in the NHL, with 31 Goals.

Letang #58 – D – 6th Overall in the NHL, for Defensemen with 53 Points.

Jarry #35 – G – 1st – Tied Overall in the NHL, with 32 wins.

The 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 21.8%, which is ranked 15th overall in the NHL.

The Penguins Penalty Kill is 2nd in the NHL, with an 86.4% Kill Rate.

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Game Analysis / Pens Scouting Report

Pittsburgh Penguins Record 39-16-10 = 88 Pts (2nd in the Metropolitan)

NYR Record 340-19-5 = 85 Pts (3rd in the Metropolitan)

Pittsburgh Goals For 213

NYR Goals For 193

Pittsburgh Goals Against 172

NYR Goals Against 167

Pittsburgh Goal Differential +41

NYR Goal Differential +26

Pittsburgh Power Play 21.8%

NYR Power Play 26.7%

Pittsburgh Penalty Kill 86.4%

NYR Penalty Kill 82.0%

Pittsburgh Penalty Minutes 444

NYR Penalty Minutes 551

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Pittsburgh Shots Per Game 34.8

NYR Shots Per Game 28.7

Pittsburgh Team Faceoff 50.9%

NYR Team Faceoff 47.5%

Pittsburgh Team Goals Against Average 2.55

NYR Team Goals Against Average 2.58

Pittsburgh Team Save % .920

NYR Team Save % .921

Pittsburgh G – Jarry #35  2.26 GAA, (was 2.38 GAA as of Feb26.22)

NYR G- Shesterkin #31   2.14 GAA, (was 1.98 GAA as of Feb26.22)

Pittsburgh G – Jarry #35 .923 Save%, (was .919 Save % as of Feb26.22)

NYR G- Shesterkin #31  .936 Save%, (was .940 Save % as of Feb26.22)

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Key Injuries: New York Rangers

Rooney – March 01.22 IR Upper Body

Kakko – Jan21.22 IR Upper Body

Blais – Nov13.21 IR ACL

Key Injuries: Pittsburgh Penguins

McGinn – March10.22 DTD Upper Body

Beaulieu – March 03.22 IR Lower body

Zucker -FJan19.22 IR Core Muscle

Pens Picks Quick View

Offense: Pittsburgh

Defense: Rangers

Special Teams: Tied

Shots Per Game: Pittsburgh

Faceoff Win%: Pittsburgh

My View from the Cheap Seats

Here we are, late in March and the New York Rangers are still very much in the hunt for Lord Stanley. I suspect it will take the rest of the season for the new players to fit into their respective systems. Welcome to the party NYR.

We are all used to Ranger Trades Not Working Out.  So, time will tell on these new additions, and time is just around the corner.  Tik-Tok.

We are all used to the Annual New York Ranger Seasonal Swoon or Slump.  From March 17 to April 19.2022, the Rangers play 16 games against the Eastern Conference.  It appears, this years slump will occur a little later than expected due to Covid Restrictions. Oh no, Oh no, Oh no no no no no.

I always enjoy watching a game like this one.  The Intensity, the Rivalry, the Penguins Victory.  Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang, Badda-Boom.

Quote of the Day

“I get such satisfaction when I play my Big Brother in a game, any game and Win.“

Every Little Brother

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Penguins vs Rangers – Feb 26.2022  – Penguins Win 1-0