Ya boys have lost two in a row, a 6-3 loss to Tampa at home that probably was closer than the score indicated, and a 3-2 loss in Detroit Saturday which was probably not as close as the score made it seem. The game in Detroit, with a 2-0 lead and just plenty of sloppiness and some laziness, was one of the worst losses of the season.
The Penguins aren’t doing so fabulous either, though they remain tied for the division lead with the November Cup Champion Islanders and have only six regulation losses in 27 games. Their last five opponents were Carolina (twice), the Devils, Vancouver and Ottawa (which fired coach Teddy Roosevelt today). The Pens lost to the Hurricanes and Canucks. They have some excuses though, as they come to the Garden with seven players out injured (Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Patric Hornqvist, Scott Wilson, Beau Bennett and Olli Matta).
The Rangers are likely without Chris Kreider, who is being called day-to-day, and doubtful with neck spasms after a practice colission with Carl Hagelin yesterday. Ex-Penguin Tanner Glass returns from the mumps, and John Moore replaced Matt Hunwick on defense.
Anthony Duclair and Hunwick are expected to be prucha’d.
Henrik Lundqvist opposes Marc-Andre Fleury in goal. Lundqvist beat the Penguins earlier this season and lost that inane shootout the Rangers thought they had won, after returning from the dressing room following video review disallowing Dan Boyle’s goal. He also beat the Pens three in a row in the second-round playoff series after falling behind 3-1 (with two Fleury shutouts).
The Rangers hit the road after tonight, with three in four nights in Western Canada on the weekend to begin a four-game trip. After playing 17 of 26 at home, they will play 32 of their final 56 games on the road.
After the game, vote for the Three Rangers Stars in the poll on the left.