Tonight is the first game against the Rangers since the playoffs, so let's check in with those jerks to see how their season has started.
Record: 6-6-2, 5th in the Metro for a very mediocre 14 points in 14 games
Blog: Blueshirt Banter
Goals For: 39
Goals Against: 46
Power play: 13.2% (24th)
Penalty kill: 79.6% (18th)
Last 10: 5-3-2
Current Streak: Lost 2
Best win: 4-0 vs San Jose on Oct 19
Worst loss: This past weekend they lost 5-4 to Toronto and 3-1 to Edmonton, ouch
Scoring leader: Rick Nash (11 goals, 3 assists)
Henrik Lundqvist Update: 6-4-1, 2.79 GAA, .905 save %, 2 shutouts
Former Pens: Lee Stempniak (14gp: 3g, 3a, +1), Tanner Glass (14gp, 0g, 0a, -7, lots of heart), Ryan Malone (6gp, 0g,0a, -4 now waived), Dominic Moore (14 gp, 0g, 4a)
It's been a tough season for the Rangers, who have suffered some tough injuries- Dan Boyle got hurt on opening night and has been out since, Derek Stepan is just getting back into the lineup and Ryan McDonaugh missed a handful of games. It's all added up to an uninspiring start, and just when it looked like they were getting on track came last weekend's 0-2 debacle to two weak teams.
Tonight's game will be an interesting one, since the Rangers are still trying to get their legs under them this season, and of course the Penguins will be chomping at the bit to exorcise some of the demons that Lundqvist and company have on them after last May's playoff collapse. Pittsburgh traditionally has done well against The King, winning more games against him (26) than he has against them (25), though with the NHL's record system Lundqvist carries a 25-19-7 record with a 2.46 GAA and .913 save % in his career against the Pens. Marc-Andre Fleury, if you were curious, is 26-14-8 all-time against the Rangers with a 2.69 GAA and .911 save %.
As we've seen before, sometimes all that ails teams like the Rangers (or Flyers..or Caps) is simply playing the Penguins. That tends to get our rivals hyped and ready to play, and probably will be the case tonight. Pittsburgh will have to be ready, and not show the effects of now game four of the current road trip.