Who Wins the 2014 Stanley Cup?

New York Rangers

Los Angeles Kings














Game Day: Rangers Visit Malkin And The Penguins
Both teams have two-game winning streaks, only one will extend it to three


The Rangers can't afford any stupid penalties and will need Sean Avery to be on his best behavior


The Rangers can't afford any stupid penalties and will need Sean Avery to be on his best behavior

Rangers @ Penguins

CONSOL Energy Center, 7:00 p.m. Monday

Rangers record: 9-7-1

Penguins record: 9-8-1

 

The Rangers are right back at it tomorrow night in Pittsburgh on the heels of a wild 8-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.  Certainly the Rangers’ confidence must be running high following two victories at home without Henrik Lundqvist and with a dominant Marian Gaborik back in the lineup.  But obviously, taking on Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and the rest of the Penguins is never an easy task.

Pittsburgh hasn’t had a great start to the season, but they always seem to be a much better second half team.  Still, the absence of Jordan Staal and horrible play of Marc-Andre Fleury are cause for concern.  The Penguins have won two in a row over Tampa Bay and Atlanta, but prior to that had won only two of eight games.  Fleury was back in net for the last two victories and gave up only three goals between them, so maybe he’s starting to settle in.  After a tremendous start to the season, backup goalie Brent Johnson has struggled recently.  It seems likely that Johnson will get the start for Pittsburgh which will be playing its third game in four days.  The Penguins made some interesting roster decisions this summer that have changed the direction of the franchise.  Sergei Gonchar left via free agency but the Penguins quickly reinvested the money saved from losing Gonchar, and then some, in signing Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek.  The problem for Pittsburgh is the salary cap.  So much money is invested in Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Martin, Michael, Orpik and Fleury that the Penguins are unable to surround their ultra-talented centers with any component wingers.  Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis are the best wingers the Penguins have to offer, meaning if opponents can contain Crosby and Malkin, a huge if to be sure, they have a great chance to win.  Crosby hasn’t struggled without any wingers, he’s been good enough on his own to tally 12 goals and 15 assists so far this season.  Malkin, on the other hand, hasn’t been the same the last couple years and has seven goals and nine assists.  He did have a hat trick yesterday so the Penguins must be hopeful that he’s returning to form.  Pittsburgh’s retooled defense hasn’t been bad this season, but inconsistent goaltending has been the team’s downfall.  Still the Penguins rank 13th in goals against and fifth on the penalty kill. 

All indications are that Lundqvist will be back in between the pipes tomorrow for the Blueshirts, and against Crosby and Malkin lord knows the Rangers will need him.  The Rangers are capable of beating the Penguins, but of course, it starts and ends with containing Crosby.  Pittsburgh has been bad on the power play thus far, but anyone who has watched the Penguins in recent years knows just how dangerous the Penguins can be with the extra-man.  It appears the loss of Gonchar has hindered the team a bit, but the Rangers don’t want to be the team that lets the Penguins’ power play gets going.  The line of Dubinsky/Anisimov/Callahan will likely see a lot of time against Crosby.  Hopefully the tenacious wingers can harass Sid enough to throw him off his game.  Of course, the Blueshirts will also look to employ their ferocious fore-check to stop the Penguins from spending too much time in the Rangers zone in the first place. 

The recipe for victory against Pittsburgh is simple.  Stay out of the box, contain Crosby, and take advantage of the Penguins’ lack of depth.  The Rangers may be better equipped for this than in years past because of their considerable depth.  But of course, without a strong effort from Lundqvist this will be a tough match to win.  If the Rangers play their game, they could be looking at three wins in a row.  

Posted by Kevin Baumer | November 14, 2010 at 08:55 pm
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New York Rangers VS New Jersey Devils
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 1 0 0 - 1
Devils 1 0 0 - 1








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