Pittsburgh Penguins (46-26-7, 99 pts) at New York Rangers (40-27-11, 91 pts)
The Pens have a tough one tonight at MSG. They haven't won a game there yet this season, and they haven't played very well in losing three times. Good opportunity to reverse the trend, since they could wind up facing the Rangers in the first round.
The potential playoff matchup is completely up in the air. If we assume, for the sake of argument, that the Pens clinch the division (which they can do with a win tonight), they'll finish no worse than the 2nd seed. The current list of candidates for the 7th (or 8th) seed is extensive. It includes all playoff teams except for Montreal. Buffalo is probably done, but if also includes the Caps, who are three points out of 8th, but only two points out of the division lead (and third place).
Lots of stuff to be sorted out in the next week.
I'm guessing we'll see Conklin tonight, just because it's a back-to-back, and I'm sure Therrien will want to get him a game before the playoffs.
Kris Beech is ready to play, but can you see him cracking this lineup right now? Adam Hall is also skating again. The guy the Pens really need for the playoffs is Gary Roberts. I haven't heard anything recently on him.
Which defense do you sit to get an extra forward onto the ice? I'm thinking it needs to be Sydor. Whitney is too good offensively, and there really isn't anyone else with Scuderi healthy.
Let's Go Pens!