Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Game #51 - at New York Rangers

Game 51
Penguins (31-15-4, 66 points) at Rangers (29-20-3, 61 points)

Why does it matter?
The All-Star break is over and we've made the turn for the home stretch of the season. The Pens badly need to improve on their mediocre divisional record of 6-5-2. Two points over the Rangers tonight would be a good start.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Five wins in six games heading into the break makes for a nice change after losing six out of eight.
  • Rangers - The Rangers reached their high-water mark of 10 games over .500 back on January 8th. They've been treading water since then (4-5-0), but have won two of their past three games.
Questions to be answered
  • Will the Pens be able to dictate the pace and put some shots on net? The Rangers have allowed no more than 23 shots in each of their past three games.
  • Can the Pens control the NHL's fastest skater, Marian Gaborik? The defense will need to be on their toes.
  • Who will step up and provide the offense?
Keys to the game
  • Avoid the shootout. Lundqvist is good at those, and the Rangers have lost just one all year.
  • You know Tortorella will have his guys ready to work. The Pens need to be able to exceed the Rangers' effort level.
  • No more Pittsburgh North at MSG - Fedotenko and Christensen are both out and Rosival was traded to Phoenix.

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