Rangers at Penguins today

94

Matinee at the new igloo, on NBC. You know what I’d really like to see today. A couple of Crosby Updates. Maybe even a Crosby interview. How great would that be? And a lot of talk about the Staal brothers. Lots and lots of that. Oh, and as much Mike Milbury opinions as they can spare. And a few dozen “Edzos.” And finally, maybe a thing about how Matt Cooke is misunderstood.

That piece of carcillo.

Well, actually, I would like to see all of that, because I’m at the state hoops tournament and I’m going to be scrambling to find a TV in a bar or restaurant where I can watch part or most of the game … and of course it is going to have to be someplace where the other 99.9 percent of the people don’t want to watch hoops.

Anyway, we don’t know about Lundqvist yet. We only know that the Rangers have taken care of the Penguins, pre-Sid-the-Skid injury and post. And that they’ve won five of six. And that we expect they will play well, especially on the road, and maybe even extra well if they have Ocho Cinco playing in Lundqvist’s place.

Here are today’s pre-game notes, from the Rangers:

NEW YORK RANGERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Sunday, Mar. 20, 12:30 p.m.
CONSOL Energy Center • Pittsburgh, PA
Rangers: 38-30-4 (80 pts)
Penguins: 41-22-8 (90 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 18

TODAY’S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center (12:30 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division match-up. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 38-30-4 (80 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 6-3, on Friday at Madison Square Garden, and are now 5-1-0 in their last six games. The Penguins enter the contest with a 41-22-8 (90 pts) record to rank fourth in the Eastern Conference, and have registered at least one point in seven of their last eight games (5-1-2). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, Mar. 22, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:
*       TV: NBC 12:30 p.m. – Rangers at Penguins
*       Radio: 970 The Apple and newyorkrangers.com

12:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
12:30 p.m. – Rangers at Penguins
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:
*       All-Time: 114-97-23-8 overall (64-46-9-3 at home, 50-51-14-5 on the road)

*       2010-11: Tonight is the sixth and final meeting this season, and the third at Pittsburgh. New York is 3-1-1 thus far and 2-0-0 at Pittsburgh. Four of their five meetings have been decided by two goals or less.

*       Last Season: The Rangers were 1-4-1 overall, including a 1-2-0 mark at Pittsburgh. Four of their six meetings were decided by two goals or less, with two that required overtime.

*       The Rangers rank eighth with a 21-14-1 (43 pts) record on the road; the Penguins are tied for sixth with a 22-12-2 (46 pts) mark at home

*       New York is 11-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; Pittsburgh is 8-7-3 vs. the Atlantic Division

*       Henrik Lundqvist is 19-13-5 with a 2.42 GAA and two shutouts in 37 career regular season games vs. Pittsburgh

*       Vinny Prospal has recorded 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) in 49 games vs. Pittsburgh; Bryan McCabe leads all team defensemen with 11 goals, 18 assists and 29 points in 48 games vs. Pittsburgh

*       New York lists two former Penguins on their roster: Erik Christensen (2005-06 – 2007-08); Ruslan Fedotenko (2008-09 – 2009-10)

*       Pittsburgh lists two former Rangers on their roster: Pascal Dupuis (2006-07); Alex Kovalev (1992-93 – 1998-99, 2002-03 – 2003-04)

SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-12 rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for third in the league.

*       Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in five power play opportunities (7:45) on Friday vs. Montreal, and are now 11-42 (26.2%) in their last 11 games. New York is tied for 13th overall (46-259, 17.8%) and ranks 21st on the road (18-119, 15.1%). The Rangers are 3-11 (9:00) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/15 vs. NYI), and 0-5 (7:02) when four-on-three (last – 3/18 vs. MTL). Shorthanded goals allowed (4): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss); 1/16 vs. PHI (Richards).

*       Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts yielded one goal to the Canadiens in four shorthanded situations (6:38) on Friday at MSG. New York ranks 13th overall (200-241, 83.0%) and seventh on the road (107-128, 83.6%). The Rangers are 7-10 (7:21) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/27 vs. TBL), and 4-6 (2:41) when three-on-four (last – 11/15 at PIT). Shorthanded goals for (11): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle); 11/26 at FLA (Prust); 12/5 vs. OTT (Prust); 12/12 vs. WSH (Staal); 12/16 vs. PHX (Prust); 1/7 at DAL (Fedotenko); 2/27 vs. TBL (Prust); 3/15 vs. NYI (Prust).

*       Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in two, four-on-four situations (1:48) on Friday vs. Montreal, and are now plus-four in 59, four-on-four situations (116:05). The Rangers are even in one, three-on-three situation (2:00) this season (2/17 vs. LAK). Four-on-four goals for (7): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan); 12/12 vs. WSH (Callahan); 1/5 vs. CAR (Zuccarello); 3/4 at OTT (Stepan); 3/6 vs. PHI (Zuccarello). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson); 3/15 vs. NYI (Moulson).

SIBLING RIVALRY
Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal has faced off against his younger brother, Pittsburgh forward Jordan Staal, 22 times in his career, amassing a 10-10-2 record with eight points (two goals, six assists) and 20 penalty minutes. Jordan has registered a 12-5-5 mark behind six goals and seven assists, along with 24 penalty minutes in those 22 games.

GOAL OUTBURST
New York notched five goals in the first period vs. Montreal on Friday, which is a season-high for goals in a single period, and tallied three goals in a 67-second span. The last time the Rangers scored at least five goals in a period was on 3/17/07 vs. Boston (six goals in Period 2), and the last time the Rangers tallied at least five goals in the first period of a game was on 12/15/99 vs. Los Angeles (six goals).  It was the first time in 25 years the Blueshirts notched at least five goals in a period vs. Montreal, having last done so on 1/10/86 (five goals in Period 2). The Rangers’ three goals in 67 seconds is the fastest three goals by the Blueshirts since they notched three in 65 seconds of the first period on 11/8/01 at Long Island.

HOME SWEET HOME
The Blueshirts have tallied six or more goals in each of their last three home games, recording 19 goals over the span. The last time the Rangers tallied 19 or more combined goals in three consecutive home games was 12/26/95 to 1/10/96 (20 goals). Friday’s contest vs. Montreal was the 10th time this season New York recorded six or more goals in a game, marking the 26th time in franchise history they accomplished the feat and first time since they tallied six or more goals in 11 games during the 1996-97 season.

RECORD STREAK
Henrik Lundqvist posted his 30th win of the season on Friday vs. Montreal to extend his NHL record by recording 30 or more wins in six consecutive seasons to begin his career. He also extended his franchise record by posting his sixth straight 30-win season.

STRONG RETURNS
Rangers’ forwards Ryan Callahan and Vinny Prospal rank first and second on the team in scoring, respectively, since returning from injury in early February. Callahan leads the team with 12 goals and 20 points in 20 games since returning from injury on Feb. 1 vs. Pittsburgh, following a 19-game hiatus due to a broken hand suffered on Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh. Prospal leads the team with 11 assists and ranks second with 16 points in 19 games since he made his season debut on Feb. 3 vs. New Jersey after missing the first 53 games of the season with a knee injury.

POWER SURGE
Since acquiring defenseman Bryan McCabe on Feb. 26, the Rangers power play has tallied eight goals in 34 attempts (23.5%) in nine games. McCabe has registered four power play points (one goal, three assists) over the span.

COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have posted seven more wins and nine more points compared to last season through 72 games (31-32-9, 71 points in 2009-10), having tallied 24 more goals (210 this season, 186 last season) while allowing 20 fewer goals against (177 this season, 197 last season).  New York has also shown a six-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (11 this season, five last season).

AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers lead the league in hits (2,045) and players with at least one game-winning goal (18), rank second in shorthanded goals (11), fourth in blocked shots (1,144), seventh in goals against (177) and road wins (21), are tied for first in shootout wins (eight), and rank fifth with a plus-33 goal differential.

THE HOT LIST:

*       Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with a three-game winning streak, and is 5-1-0 in the last six games

*       Vinny Prospal enters the contest with a Rangers’ season-high, eight-game scoring streak (two goals, eight assists over the span), and has tallied 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in the last 11 contests

*       Ryan Callahan has recorded 20 points (12 goals, eight assists) in the last 20 games, including 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in the last 15 contests

*       Marian Gaborik enters the contest with a four-game scoring streak (four goals, one assist over the span)

*       Erik Christensen enters the contest with a three-game scoring streak (two goals, three assists over the span), and has registered at least one point in six of his last eight games (five goals, six assists)

*       Artem Anisimov has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last six games

*       Brandon Prust enters the contest with a three-game scoring streak (one goal, two assists over the span)

INJURIES:

*       Derek Boogaard (shoulder, 12/9) – 42

*       Alex Frolov (knee, 1/8) – 29

*       Chris Drury (knee, 2/4) – 18

*       Martin Biron (fractured collarbone, 2/28) – 8

Total Man-Games Lost: 284

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

*       Mar. 16 – Agreed to terms with forward Ryan Bourque and defenseman Dylan McIlrath

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94 Comments

  1. And despite how horrendous watching it on NBC will undoubtedly be, it still means I won’t have to watch those reprobates on FSN Pittsburgh completely butcher the coverage 1000x times worse than NBC could ever aspire to.

  2. Rhode Island Ranger on

    I actually prefer Milbury’s aggressive candor to Pierre McG’s shameless NHL propaganda.

    If the Rangers win, none of them really bother me. LGR.

  3. Mike Milbury looks like that Penguin from Despicable Me movie what a tortured soul he is

  4. The words “prefer” and “Milbury” should never appear in succession unless immediately followed by the words “to fail to show up for work due to an unfortunate anvil/face episode”.

  5. But more seriously, I’d have more respect for his “aggressive candor” if I didn’t think it was instead “Hey, look at me! I’m being wilfully controversial and outspoken to remain on TV!”

  6. I could get this to 100 posts by myself before most of you wake up just by making anti-Milbury comments while on this two hour train journey…

  7. Christoph Trappe on

    I didn’t realize that the Staal brothers’ record between each other was so balanced. Interesting. Go Rangers!

  8. I’m just thankful that I don’t have to scour the internet trying to find an online feed. I get to watch the game on my big screen TV while lounging in the easy chair. If that means having to listen to dorks like McGuire and Milbury it’s a decent enough trade-off.

    Let’s Go RANGERS!

  9. Happy Game Day Sunday to all!

    Reading through the game notes above, the section “Among the League Leaders” lists several reasons why this team could be dangerous in the playoffs. If we continue to focus on ‘defense first’ and combine that with a hot goaltender, evenly distributed scoring and effective special teams play this team could do what Montreal did last year. I won’t go so far as to dream bigger, but as last year’s PO’s demonstrated (yet again), once you’re in, anything is possible.

    Let’s hope that we continue to build a winning streak this afternoon with the season down to single digits after today’s game.

    Since I can’t vote Prust for President, I’m casting my ballot for him as the ‘Extra Effort’ player this season. I am tempted to vote several times as there are several players deserving of this honor.

    Enjoy the game everybody. LGR’s!!

  10. NBC Has a Crosboner on

    Carp, your next contest should be to guess how many Edzo’s are dropped during the broadcast. I counted 9 before the first commercial 2 weeks ago.

  11. Heave Ho, just want to say that I see eye-to-eye with you and value your opinion greatly.

  12. lundqvist in, staal out. gilroy back in. what happend to staal? guess they can’t talk too much about the brother on brother action

  13. Latonya, thank you. You’ll find a variety of personalities and an even wider selection of opinions here on a daily basis. Stay tuned and you’ll find quite a number of knowledgeable and entertaining characters that you will usually agree or disagree with. I come here every day for my L, G and R vitamins. Carp is an insightful writer and a fan but he doesn’t sugarcoat his views through blue tinted lenses. He also moderates with an even temper but will not hesitate to deliver a shine box using same day delivery. Enjoy and don’t be shy.

  14. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Heave ho – great post. I agree. The east is up for grabs. The rangers’ lower seed status gives up an early home ice advantage, but their road record makes that no so problamatic. As the craps and filthies fight it out over 1 and 2 (the filthies will always be number 2, if you know what I mean) and the baby bisons and our heroes jockey for 7 and 8, I really don’t know how I want it to shake out. The flyers are not the same team they were a couple of months ago. But then again, the craps are not the same team that the rangers walloped a few weeks ago. The flyers are fading a tad and the craps are surging. In the end, we will play who we play and that is quite ok… This ranger team is coming together at just the right time. Let’s go rangers !!!!!

  15. I think I’d actually prefer Torts to completely lie about the nature of Staal’s injury than join the ranks of the coaches who come out with the “upper/lower/mid/inner/outer body” junk.

  16. Hope it isn’t long term with Staal. I also don’t see any particular reason to rush Hank back unless he is 100%. You can certainly count on Cooke and Co. to make a run at him a few times.

  17. Good morning ‘heads!

    Wow…lot’s going on this morning!

    ilb – Interesting LB article.
    “Translation: Changing the “fabric of the game” is fine for entertainment purposes, not so fine when it comes to safety issues.”
    I think he’s right. Unfortunately, to keep the speed of today’s NHL game, the League either has to make the ice surface bigger (almost impossible) or be forced to go back to a slower “clutch and grab” hockey game…

    Stahl is hurt? Oh jeez…not good…

    Wick – I never said you were arguing with me! LOL!

    ddeb – “Benoit Pouliot did not crash the net Thursday night. His right skate is directed across the crease, not towards it. Steve Eminger redirected the Canadien into Henrik Lundqvist.” That is Rodent’s direct quote. No big deal anyway! Hank is playing!

    Nice post, Heave!

  18. ilb, you rightly point out my oversight of Torts. He is, after all, a SC winning coach and his contributions this season and hopefully into the post-season shouldn’t be discounted. Even if we don’t make it in to the post season (shudder), I’ve enjoyed 99% of the games this year so much more than the past several seasons. The evident development of individual players as well as the team with its clearly defined identity on display every night gives me hope that I haven’t had for a long time.

    Thanks for the link to Brooks’ article. Seems like a ‘no brainer’ putting medical decisions in the hands of the medical trainer. Have to agree about his views on Byslma as well. I gained a lot of respect for him after watching the HBO Winter Classic special series.

  19. i’d vote Prust for the SMEE and Cally for Captain. what? we don’t get a vote on that?

  20. It could be his knee acting up. I thought in the last game he played (against montreal) he looked shaky on his skates at times.

  21. dubi, that’s interesting, stall did get cross checked in the back but I didn’t think it look like a major cross check. The montreal player did get called for cross checking.

  22. If Biron wasn’t injured it would be a clear cut decision that he were starting today. I would think it’s almost a no brainer that Ocho cinco gets the start today. I mean think about it- even if Lundqvist is 95 percent- we’re in the playoff picture andprobably have to play .500the rest of the way to clinch. Of all the injuries and questions surrounding this team is Lundqvist really the guy you want to screw with health wise this time of year?

  23. BTW Carp- I say if Ocho starts today and doesnt do well we tar feather and ban the first person to say we never shoulda traded Montoya : D

  24. I agree, I would start johnson and rest Lundqvist to get him healty. Why risk playing him today. The rangers need henrik healthy or they have no chance.

  25. What is a bit worrisome to me in this article is that the NHL placed a burden to make the decision on the spot solely on medical personnel of the team, without involving them, or consulting with, prior to making that decision. Even with the good amount of excellent trainers in the league, the decision on the spot isn’t as simple as it sounds. The famous “concussion questionnaire” on the spot isn’t nearly as good as people seem to think. The pressure to make the decision will leave very little margin for error. I hope the the plan involves extra training for medical personnel in the concussion field.

  26. ilb, I see your point and I hope that the league has also provided instructive material to help the trainers recognize signals that players can’t hide or lie about. I’m sure they’ll also err on the side of caution as the concussion issue has become more front and center in all sports and at all levels. Thankfully, knowledge about this injury will continue to be learned, equipment improved and treatments developed to speed recovery. All this should have happened sooner. Better late than never.

  27. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    morning ILB and all!!

    NYR
    I know, I was just kidding!!!

    carp
    again, really sorry about yesterday!

    I would play ocho today, but that is just me. I like that eminger is getting first pair minutes!..Look for the rangers to be over aggressive (I don’t think that is possible personally) if anyone bumps hang (it wouldnt shock me to see eminger drop the gloves today if hank gets bumped and he is on the ice)

  28. Courtesy to Andrew Gross, Lundqvist woke up in the morning and said his head is fine so he will be playing….

    Henrik Lundqvist woke up this morning able to turn his head so he’ll make his 17th straight start. However, top defenseman Marc Staal is out with an undisclosed injury. Matt Gilroy will rejoin the lineup and be paired with Bryan McCabe while Steve Eminger will be paired with Staal’s usual partner, Dan Girardi.

  29. …Coach John Tortorella said, from this point on with the playoffs so close, the team will not be very forthcoming with its injury reports. He is concerned about opponents targeting injuries. So, according to Tortorella, it’s not an upper-body injury, it’s not a lower-body injury, it’s just a body injury…..

  30. i think the Eminger-Giirardi pairing is the de facto 2nd line with McDonagh and Sauer getting the most icetime…

  31. would like to catch some pregame coverage as well from 12 but i am not sure to get a stream from it…:)

  32. Heave Ho- the fact that the NHL didn’t involve medical personnel in their decision indicates to me that, even though they did recognize the seriousness of the problem, the meeting was more a reaction to the issue rather then true resolution. Let me give you an explanation why. Point one involves immediate exam by a team doctor in the locker room. Sounds nice. Well, first most of tge team doctors are orthopedists, not neurologists. And even though they may be qualified to make that decision, they are no experts. Second, team doctors do not travel with the team. Therefore, the decision will be made by home team doctor. What if he holds the player off the ice unnecessary? What if he misdiagnosed the concussion and let’s the player of opposing team play, endangering his health? Can you say controversy? My point is the league isn’t ready to really deal with it. But it’s a step.

  33. Ilb, so the only resolution would be to have a neuroglist at any game but its seems to be very expensive to me :)

  34. part of playing contact sports is getting hurt. its inevitable and unless they develop proper headgear but I doubt even that can prevent them…

  35. ZzZz NYR ZzZzucco " TIME FOR THE PUSH!! "...says Greg L. on

    IM READY ilb , I kinda stayed up too late so I just skipped going to bed so I dont miss the game!!! Its like 10 am over here!!!

    LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!

  36. ilb, no doubt the league has been somewhat lax in dealing with this issue but you may be overstating when you state “the fact that the NHL didn’t involve medical personnel in their decision”. I think up to now the league has not imposed hard and fast regulations on how teams deal with concussions. I would hope that some teams have (smartly) left these decisions up to medical personnel while others have let the coaching staff and player determine if the player wants to and can ‘go’. Now the league has officially instituted a policy giving the medical staff authority that can’t be overridden by a coach or player. Your other points about the type of doctor available is an excellent one and illustrates how this issue is not simply and quickly fixed. BTW, I’ve known several team doctors (my wife is a nurse) and they are overwhelmingly focused on the player’s well being and frequently not even a fan of the sport. Consequently, I’m not concerned about a ‘home team’ mentality figuring into their medical decisions.

  37. So is it me or does “Edzo” really despise the only team that gave him a chance to win the Cup?

    Maybe he’s a bit sour that his #12 isn’t hanging from the spoked ceiling for his “heave ho” chant.

  38. I think it is much more than just coming up with widely advertised 5 point system. The good news, they finally are dealing with it.

  39. I happen to like the NBC and new versus telecasts. Its nice to here some unbiased criticism for once instead of how wonderful the team is all the time.

  40. right cross check, i am listening to the Ranger Pregame shows with Kenny Albert ???
    Where is Don La Greca ?????

  41. eddie eddie eddie on

    never mind edzo….he prefers chicago style pizza – with its 20 lbs of dough per slice….

  42. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    Good early afternoon ‘Heads!!!

    Happy First Official Day of SPRING!!!

    LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    ilbzo, was in the 80’s yesterday, and more of the same today. Supermoon was awesome. Looking forward to 2 points by our boys in blue today before going out to enjoy the rest of this amazing day!

  44. Nicholas – Edzo never forgave the Rangers/Keenan for sitting him out during the finals.

  45. Heave Ho,

    I’ve been reading this website since it was Sam Weinman’s, and just have to say that both he and Carp do an amazing job. I’m just generally shy; only recently have I begun to post on a semi-regular basis.

  46. eddie eddie eddie on

    does geico really save you 15%???…is matt cooke a filthy pice of carcillo???

  47. Prust in goal – Prust on D – Prust at the point – Prust behind the bench.
    Prust, Prust, Prust, Prust – all we need.
    and don’t forget, F5, F5, F5 !!!

  48. eddie eddie eddie on

    Does geico really save you 15%????…Is B Prust a super being from another planet?

  49. Latona, well you pre-date me then. I also lurked for quite a while before opening my big mouth. Enjoy the game starting shortly. I don’t like to post during the game so I’ll see ya after our afternoon win.

  50. Looks like a “let ’em play” precedent may have been set with that non call on McD for interference.

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