Posted March 15, 2013 on
AP on Fox
New York Rangers
While many expected a tight race in the Atlantic Division, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins appear to be head and shoulders above the competition.
That shouldn't come as much of a surprise to the New York Rangers.
Hoping to stay unbeaten in March, Pittsburgh tries for a seventh consecutive victory over New York as these division rivals square off in a matinee showdown Saturday at Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins (20-8-0) are looking every bit like the team to beat in the Atlantic, with a sizable lead over second-place New Jersey. Pittsburgh, which is tied with Montreal atop the Eastern Conference, is averaging an NHL-best 3.6 goals and an even more impressive 4.6 during a 7-0-0 run this month.
That success is due in large part to Crosby, who leads the league with 47 points. He turned in another superb performance in Thursday's 3-1 win at Toronto, setting up Pascal Dupuis' game-tying and go-ahead goals in the third period.
"That was fun to watch. I see this guy every day, but it's still amazing what he can do," Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 28 saves to earn his league high-tying 14th win, told the team's official website. "Every day, he still does crazy, crazy stuff out there."
Crosby had been sidelined for the better part of 14 months due to concussion-related problems before returning in a 5-2 road win over the Rangers last March 15. Crosby, who hasn't missed a game since, had two assists that night and has notched 10 goals and 19 assists during a 16-game point streak in the series.
"I get to play with the best player in the world every night," said linemate Chris Kunitz, who has 17 goals and 18 assists over his last 21 games. "It makes going out and playing a lot of fun."
Pittsburgh has outscored New York 25-8 in winning the last six meetings, handily taking both matchups this season. The Penguins cruised to a 6-3 victory at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 20, then pulled out another road win by a 3-0 score 11 days later behind Tomas Vokoun's 28 saves.
Things could be more difficult Saturday without Evgeni Malkin. The reigning league MVP, who totaled a goal and four assists against the Rangers in January, will miss his fourth consecutive game due to an upper-body injury.
New York (13-11-2) enters the weekend hoping to avoid a season-worst third consecutive regulation loss after falling 3-1 at Winnipeg on Thursday.
Captain Ryan Callahan provided all the offense with his team high-tying ninth goal. Marian Gaborik had a chance at an early equalizer in the first period but missed a penalty shot.
"We've got to capitalize," said coach John Tortorella, whose team is 4 for 33 (12.1 percent) on the power play while going 4-6-1 on the road. "When you have a penalty shot, you have a breakaway, some really good looks there, you need to get something done there.
"Hopefully, we can get our next game, some guys gain some confidence and we score some goals along with defending the proper way."
Henrik Lundqvist turned away 30 of 32 Jets shots but still dropped to 0-3-0 over his last three games and 2-5-1 on the road. While Lundqvist has compiled a 3.49 goals-against average in losing four straight against the Penguins, he's 5-1-0 with a 1.66 mark over his last six starts at Pittsburgh.
Fleury, 12-3-0 since the start of February, has gone 4-0-0 with a 1.25 GAA in his last four meetings with New York.
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AROUND THE WEB
It might come as a surprise for Penguins fans to learn that a Hall-of-Fame defenseman skated for the team in the mid-to-late 1970s. No, it wasn’t shot-blocker extraordinaire Dave Burrows or even Norris Trophy winner Randy Carlyle. His name was Bob Paradise, and he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989.
(...)Read the rest of Penguins History: Bob Paradise...
Marc-Andre Fleury couldn't help it. With the Pittsburgh Penguins' franchise record for career shutouts in sight late in the third period against the New York Rangers on Saturday, the talented if occasionally erratic goalie let his mind drift.
''I wanted it so bad,'' Fleury said. ''I tried to not jinx it. I was touching wood, but yeah I was looking...
Winnipeg Jets fans could be heard taunting New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella with a "Tortorella" chant during the third period of the Jets' 3-1 win over the Rangers Thursday night.
The win put the Jets in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Rangers.
Video via NHL.com. H/T PD.
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On July 1st 2009 Marian Gaborik signed for the New York Rangers after spending his entire NHL career with the Minnesota Wild. Gaborik a talented skater and a devastating finisher was plagued with injuries whilst with the Wild. Gaborik during the 2009-2010 season repaid the Rangers organisation by scoring 42 points and 86 over 76 [...]
Pascal Dupuis scored two of Pittsburgh's three goals in the third period, and the Penguins stormed back to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-1, on Thursday night and win their seventh game in a row.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for Pittsburgh (20-8), which defeated the Maple Leafs, 5-4, in a shootout in Toronto five days earlier. Craig Adams sealed this win by scoring into...
It's been unfortunate to watch a 40-goal scorer like Marian Gaborik struggle to find the back of the net this season. And last night in Winnipeg might have been rock bottom when he could barely get a shot off during a penalty shot and did this afterward...
Meanwhile, Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com reports that although the Rangers aren’t necessarily shopping Gaborik, he’s...
If the answer is yes, check out Sidney Crosby's pass to Pascal Dupuis tonight.
In an article on the Rangers trying to bounce back from their tough loss in Buffalo, Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports that Dan Girardi is playing well below 100%.
Girardi smirked and said “I feel good” when questioned about his health yesterday.
In case you haven't noticed, Girardi has been given the "A" again with Staal out of the line-up.
I had eye surgery on Friday, so I was unable to get the ATF yesterday. This post will cover all games played by the Rangers prospects on Thursday night and Friday night. Today’s (Saturday’s) games will be covered tomorrow, as per usual.
The playoffs –or playoff type scenarios– have begun for almost all of the Rangers prospects. Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fasth have begun their...
Well, the Rangers got dominated in Pittsburgh today. We can’t even say it was unexpected. The Rangers were absolutely dominated in the first period to the tune of a -24 Corsi (33 shot attempts for Pittsburgh, 9 for the Rangers). It was a miracle that the Rangers were only down a goal in the first, mostly due to the play of Henrik Lundqvist. That said, the entire team –including...
Pittsburgh Penguins (19-8-0) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (15-11-1)
ROOT, SNET-O, RDS - 7:00 pm/et
Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ON
The last Pens/Leafs game from a few days ago was an entertaining contest, except for the Malkin injury of course. The Pens needed a shootout to triumph over the Leafs last time. What will happen tonight with the Pens looking to win seven...
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Triibune-Review,
At some point late in the Penguins' thrilling victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, it struck me: Ray Shero is the best trader in the NHL.
What's more, he is the best trader in Penguins history — better than Craig Patrick.
Even before Brandon Sutter's dramatic game-winner, a quick glance at the Penguins...
By Wil Goldsholl
Hartford, CT, March 16, 2013 - Six days’ rest proved key for the Connecticut Whale, as they picked up a critical 3-0 win over the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday night in Hartford. Manchester, sitting in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference prior to the game, has not bested the Whale, who moved into a tie for seventh with the win, at the XL Center this...
The Hotstove panel on Hockey Night In Canada discussed the current NHL trade market and right now the asking price is very high.
Other topics include the New York Rangers, the Olympics and the GM Meetings.