Saturday, March 29, 2008

Game #79 - vs New York Rangers

New York Rangers (40-26-11, 91 pts) at Pittsburgh Penguins (45-26-7, 97 pts)

Two home games remain for the Pens in the regular season. The first one is against the Rangers, who are a possible first round playoff opponent. The Rangers have earned points in five straight games and they're 4-2 against the Pens this season. Time to reverse the momentum a bit, eh?

The special teams for the Rangers are a mixed bag. The PK has been good. They haven't allowed more than one goal in a game since February 3rd. The power play, however, hasn't been good. They just broke out for two goals in their win over the faltering Devils. Prior to that, they'd managed just three power play goals in their past 14 games.

The Pens need to keep the home cooking going. They've been dominant at home. Since January 3rd, they've lost just twice in regulation on home ice. Fleury has allowed no more than two goals in any home game since his return, and the offense lights it up at home (seven goals in three of the past five at home). They'll need the home ice advantage when they hit the playoffs.

One other thing for this game: Somebody, please, stop Sean Avery. He has torched the Penguins this year. Maybe have Laraque go after him early on. Anything is better than letting him smugly notch point after point on the Pens while the Rangers win.

Hossa is expected to play, and I think we'll see Fleury in net. My guess would be Conklin will get the start on Monday at MSG.

The roster is just about at full strength, and all of the big guns are playing. Time for a win!

Let's Go Pens!

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