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New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins

“Game of the Night” is a feature that takes a daily look at the best game on the NHL schedule, and sets it up for you. So y’know, you should probably watch the game below. This is brought to you by the Werner Ladder Company (check out their hockey vid here), because how else do you think the bulbs in the red goal light get changed?

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Who:

Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers

Records:

Pittsburgh Penguins: 28-9-0 (last 10: 9-1-0)

New York Rangers: 17-15-3 (last 10: 4-5-1)

Justification:

The Pens are tops in the East and fresh off the end of their streak, and the Rangers are starting to head in the right direction up the table.

Head-to-head:

The Pens have won the first three, and handily.

Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. EST

Need to know:

* The Penguins had a 15 game win streak going before losing 4-1 to the Sabres in their last game. Weird, it happened right after Crosby’s injury.

* The Rangers just added Ryane Clowe which is cool…and of course, the Pens just added Iginla, Murray and Morrow.

* Speaking of, Iggy got his first goal as a Pittsburgh Penguin last game, in the loss.

* The Rangers just sent down JT Miller and Chris Kreider, so they might have something else up their sleeve.

Player stats: 

pns

Injuries (via NHL.com):

Penguins defenseman Paul Martin (broken hand) and Kris Letang (lower body) are out. … Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (face) is out.

I feel the need to add something today: SIDNEY CROSBY IS OUT WITH A BROKEN FACE, if you hadn’t heard.

Goaltenders:

New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist (confirmed)

Pittsburgh Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (confirmed)

What I’m looking forward to:

I’m looking forward to finding out two things: how heavily the Penguins have been relying on Crosby, and if the Rangers are who we thought they were…or not.

On Crosby: Sometimes you sort of sit back and let greatness be great, and it’s easy to play that way. You feel no pressure, you’re not gripping the stick, and you trust that hey, “Crosby’s got this even if I don’t.” Now that guys have expectation on them, it could be different. How does it go when the team actually needs Chris Kunitz to score, and doesn’t just want him to.

As for the Rangers, I thought they were a potential Presidents Trophy team this season. It seems like they might be finding their stride, and if they in fact are (and Clowe will help this), I can see them heading up the standings.

Prediction:

Rangers are gonna start rolling.

Game of the Night prediction record:

8-7-0