By: Casey Johnston (@CaseyR82)
Last Game for the Penguins: Saturday, a 3-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Penguins limited the Blue Jackets to 19 shots as rookie goaltender Jeff Zatkoff got his first career win and shutout. Deryk Engelland, Chris Kunitz, and Jussi Jokinen scored for the Penguins.
Last Game for the Rangers: Monday, a 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Corey Perry and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Ducks in the first period. Michael Del Zotto scored for the Rangers in the second period. Despite getting 33 shots on goal, the Rangers were unable to tie the game. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 23 of 25 Anaheim shots.
Last 10 Games for the Penguins: 7-3.
Last 10 Games for the Rangers: 5-5.
Last Time These Two Teams Met: April 5, 2013. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 2-1 in a shootout in the second game of a home-and-home series. Jussi Jokinen scored thirty seconds into the third period to make it 1-0. Rick Nash tied the game with less than five minutes left. Jokinen would score the game’s only shootout goal to give the Penguins the first win in what would become a seven game winning streak. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 of 33 shots while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 of 23.
Story of the Game: The Penguins got some good news on the injury front this week as James Neal and Beau Bennett both began skating. This will present an interesting problem for Dan Bylsma as several players who are earning their playing time will have to sit or get re-shuffled. One guy who will likely find himself in the press box despite strong performances in the past few games is Deryk Engelland. Since moving to forward, Engelland has scored twice, but he’s also done things that don’t show up on the score sheet. He has improved each night and may already be at the point of being more valuable as a forward than a defenseman. More injuries may keep him in the lineup on the fourth line, but that will be the only way he stays in since he is unlikely to play anyone in the bottom-six out of the lineup despite his strong performances.
Penguins All-Time Record Against the Rangers: 113-110-23-8.
Rangers-Killer on the Penguins: Evgeni Malkin has five points in his last four games against the Rangers.
Penguin-Killer on the Rangers: Rick Nash scored twice against the Penguins in four games last year, including one shorthanded goal.