Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Game #25 - at New York Rangers

2011-12 Game 25

Pittsburgh Penguins (14-6-4, 32 points) at New York Rangers (12-5-3, 27 points)

Dubinsky is a weasel, per the Bastion of Truth - Jody Shelley of the Flyers.

Why does it matter?
The Rangers are playing really well (9-2-0 since October 29th).  This will be a good test for the Pens and a tough road match up.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Three wins in four games since Sid's return has pushed the Pens to the top of the NHL point total.
  • Rangers - After a brief hiccup on the road with two straight losses, their winning has resumed with a win at Washington and against the Flyers at home.
Questions to be answered
  • Will Sid keep torturing the Rangers?  He has 10 goals (and 22 points) in his last 11 games against them.
  • Can we get a plus game out of Martin and Michalek?  They're a team-worst -9 and -8, respectively.
  • Can Jordan Staal keep scoring, especially given how little he shoots?  His shooting percentage is currently near 25%, which is not sustainable (though he did finish with 22% in his rookie year).
Keys to the game
  • Stop Marian Gaborik.  The Rangers are top heavy in the goal scoring department (and they struggle to score sometimes).  Control the big guns like Gaborik and suddenly one or two goals may be all you need.
  • Take advantage of special teams.  The Rangers power play has a good ranking and percentage, but they've allowed power play goals in four of their previous five games.
  • Keep them to two goals or less.  With the exception of one loss to the Sens, they Rangers have scored two or less in every loss.

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