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Game 6 Preview: New York Rangers @ Pittsburgh Penguins 1/24/2021: lines, how to watch

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A rare Sunday evening home game to end the Penguins homestand

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Justin K. Aller/NHLI via Getty Images

Who: New York Rangers (1-2-1, 4 points, 7th place Eastern Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2-0, 6 points, 4th place in the Eastern Division)

When: 7:00 p.m. eastern

How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, MSG+ in the greater New York area, and you can also catch it on ESPN+. In Canada, check SNE, SNO and SNP in Canada, which now I think they’re just making up initials for networks at this point

Opponent Track: The Rangers and Pens will meet next Saturday+Monday in Manhattan, but first the teams split after tonight for two games first. NYR goes to Buffalo for two games on Tuesday/Thursday.

Pens path ahead: The Pens leave town for games on Tuesday/Thursday in Boston and then the Penguins scoot down to NYC to play these same Rangers again next weekend in Madison Square Garden next Saturday (January 30th) and the following Monday (February 1st).

Season Series: The Pens won 4-3 in the shootout on Friday. After tonight and next week’s games, PIT/NYR don’t meet again until March 7+9, back in the Burgh and then the season series is scheduled to be completed on April 6+8 in NYC.

Recent History: The Pens have points in eight straight games versus NYR (5-0-3), and the Pens are 9-2-3 overall in its last 14 games versus the Rangers.

SBN Team Counterpart: Check out the banter over at Blueshirt Banter to learn more about the boys in blue

Player Stats at a Glance

via hockeydb:

—How about the early season flourish for Di Guiseppe? The 27-year old only had 45 points in 170 career NHL games coming into this season, but already has four points in just three games. Di Guiseppe made a great play to setup the Rangers’ first goal of the night on Friday and had an assist on NYR’s third goal as well, which helped him be named the #2 star of the night on Friday.

Possible Lines

Forwards

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Alexis Lafreniere

Artemi Panarin - Ryan Strome - Pavel Buchnevich

Phil Di Guiseppe - Filip Chytil - Kaapo Kakko

Brendan Lemieux - Brett Howden - Julien Gauthier

Defense

Ryan Lindgren / Adam Fox

K’Andre Miller / Jacob Trouba

Jack Johnson / Anthony DeAngelo

Expected starting goalie: Igor Shesterkin

Scratches: Kevin Rooney, Brendan Smith

IR: none

Taxi Squad: Libor Hajek, Keith Kinkaid, Anthony Bitetto, Colin Blackwell

—s

He said it

You would have to think if the Rangers take a lead that they will be stingier in efforts to hold onto it next time.

And now for the Pens..

Player stats at a glance

(via hockeydb)

—Kasperi Kapanen is carrying a personal four game point streak against the Rangers.

Lines:

Forwards

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Evan Rodrigues

Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust

Jared McCann - Mark Jankowski - Brandon Tanev

Colton Sceviour - Teddy Blueger - Kasperi Kapanen

Defense

Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang

John Marino / Cody Ceci

Pierre-Olivier Joseph / Chad Ruhwedel

Scratches: Juuso Riikola (upper body injury), Marcus Pettersson (upper body injury)

Expected starting goalie: Tristan Jarry

IR: Zach Aston-Reese, Mike Matheson

Taxi Squad: Alex D’Orio, Maxime Lagace, Sam Lafferty. Drew O’Connor, Kevin Czuczman

Home cookin’

The Pens have been rockin’ and rollin’ lately at the friendly confines of PPG Paints Arena. Check out this nugget from Pens PR:

The Penguins are 10-3-1 their last 14 home games dating back to last season (Jan. 14, 2020). During that span, Sidney Crosby has amassed 27 points (7G-20A) in those 13 games. Since Jan 14, 2020, no NHL player has more points at home than Crosby’s 27.

3 keys to the game:

  1. Two weak PK’s. Pittsburgh is sporting the NHL’s 24th ranked penalty kill (as of Saturday afternoon) at just 73.7%. The Rangers are barely ahead of them at 75.0% and 23rd. Each team recorded a power play goal on Friday night, the Pens only had two opportunities (NYR had four). One team’s penalty kills could well prove to let them down in this game.
  2. Keep shots down. The Pens are last in the NHL with a .839 save% overall. The Rangers are currently second in the NHL with 35.0 shots/game. Tristan Jarry did well to make 31 saves on Friday night, but Pittsburgh is a team now that can’t really afford to give up 34, 35+ shots in the game and expect a
  3. Avoiding the hole. The Pens have been down at least two goals in 4 out of the 5 games so far this season. That is going to have to change if they want to keep building on their three game winning streak (two of which have come in the shootout).