Leading scorers: Nikolai Zherdev (12G, 28A), Scott Gomez (10G, 24A)
If you're starting to think the Penguins play the Rangers every week, then you're pretty much right. Tonight's game marks the third time this month the two teams meet up, previously on January 5 (4-0 Rangers win) and January 18 (3-0 Pens win).
Tonight the Pens have a great opportunity to take two points from the division. Not only does this (obviously) improve the Penguins' standings, but it also keeps the Rangers within striking distance as the season progresses. Plus there are a lot of New York fans to silence for bragging about securing first place heading into the all-star break. Oh wait that's right, the Devils slipped a point ahead of them. Seeing as how both the Rangers and Devils won last night that still holds true. And a win for the Pens means twice as much.
Another benefit tonight for the Penguins is that the game will be on Pittsburgh ice. I'm normally not a huge believer in the whole home-ice advantage thing, but either the Rangers are really good when playing at Madison Square Garden or the Penguins have it in their heads that they're really bad when playing at MSG. Either way, thankfully this one is at Mellon.
After tonight's game the Pens won't have to see the likes of the Rangers until March 28.
Here's to hoping the Pens make the game count and Eric Godard makes Colton Orr into a human punching bag.