Monday, March 17, 2008

Game #73 - at New York Rangers

Pittsburgh Penguins (41-24-7, 89 pts) at New York Rangers (37-26-9, 83 pts)

Sykora has 25 goals on the season. Not too shabby.

Gomez had one good goal scoring year (05-06). The rest are like this one - average. In baseball, he'd be looked at for juicing.

The Pens have a chance to accomplish two important things with a win against the Rangers:
  1. They can leapfrog New Jersey into the #1 spot in the conference.
  2. They can get back to .500 against their own division.
Both are very important. The #1 spot is critical for obvious reasons, but the division record is also important because it sets the tone for the last eight games of the season, all of which are within the Atlantic.

The big thing the Pens need to work on is their power play. They were smoking against the Sabres last week, but aside from that game, they have just one power play goal in their last seven games. Taking advantage of your chances will be critical in the playoffs.

The Rangers had points in 13 straight games before heading to Florida last weekend. They were kicked around by the Panthers and Lightning on Friday and Saturday.

Lundqvist is usually hard on the Pens, and this season is no different. He's allowed just 9 goals in five games, but only managed to compile a 3-2 record. He's only 7-6 in shootouts this season, so maybe that stigma of being an unbeatable shootout goalie is wearing off.

Tough game, for sure. The Pens need the points.

Let's Go Pens!

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