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Pens have rare letdown performance vs. Rangers without Crosby in lineup

Historically, the Pens have performed well vs. New York when Crosby doesn’t play.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the Penguins square off with the New York Rangers and Sidney Crosby isn’t in the lineup, Pittsburgh often performs well.

That certainly wasn’t the case last night.

With Crosby not playing on account of a non-COVID related illness (along with John Marino and Radim Zohorna, the Penguins dropped yet another game to the Rangers, this time by a score of 3-0.

Usually, in such games against New York without Crosby, the Penguins are able to weather the storm without their captain. Not last night, however.

According to the unofficial Penguins historian. the great Bob Grove, the Pens were generally successful in that regard.

A 121-63-28 record against the Rangers without Crosby in the lineup is better than I would have expected, including a 23-8-5 record in the last 36 games between the two teams.

Perhaps this number is semi-pumped up by the Rangers rebuild, which has clearly taken shape much quicker than initially expected.

With a strong likelihood of a Penguins/Rangers postseason matchup on the horizon, the Penguins need to find a way to get some pucks past Igor Shesterkin, who held Pittsburgh to four goals in four games, only one of which coming at 5v5 even strength.

The Penguins don’t get a rest from Metropolitan Division rivals with the Capitals coming to town for a Saturday matinee tomorrow.

Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.