Who: New York Rangers (2-3) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2)
When: 7:00 p.m. Eastern
How to Watch: TNT anywhere in America (also available on AT&T Sportsnet in the local regional viewing area).
Opponent Track: The Rangers kept their season alive by waking up in the second period and getting into Game 5 with a few goals in a flurry. Now they have to do it again.
Pens Path Ahead: Game 7, if necessary, will is in New York on Sunday, time still TBD.
Hidden Stat: The Penguins are 20-11 all-time under head coach Mike Sullivan in the playoffs following a loss (7-1 in 2016; 7-2 in 2017; 3-2 in 2018; 0-3 in 2019; 1-1 in 2020; 1-2 in 2021; 1-0 in 2022). (h/t Pens PR)
SBN Counterpart Blog: Blueshirt Banter
Game 5 Lines
Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Frank Vatrano
Artemi Panarin - Ryan Strome - Andrew Copp
Alexis Lafreniere - Filip Chytil - Kaapo Kakko
Kevin Rooney - Ryan Reaves
Ryan Lindgren / Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller / Jacob Trouba
Justin Braun / Braden Schneider
Goalies: Igor Shesterkin (Alexandar Georgiev)
Scratches: Johnny Brodzinski, Dryden Hunt, Julien Gauthier, Lauri Pajuniemi, Greg McKegg, Tim Gettinger, Nils Lundqvist, Zac Jones, Jarred Tinordi, Libor Hajek, Matthew Robertson, Keith Kinkaid, Barclay Goodrow (week-to-week)
IR: Sammy Blais
—Really odd decision with usage last game for NY to only dress 11 forwards and an extra defenseman. Nemeth only played one shift for 16 seconds (the final 16 seconds of the game) and otherwise sat on the bench. It would have made sense if it was a move in case the beat up Lindgren got knocked out of the lineup, the Rangers would have a guy to slide in and a full compliment of six defensemen....Except Lindgren did get hurt and didn’t take a shift for 12+ minutes of game time in the middle of the second period and the Rangers still chose to not use Nemeth. They only played five defensemen until Lindgren was able to shake it off and return. Very curious move to not dress another forward if they weren’t going to use Nemeth.
And now for the Pens..
Jake Guentzel - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Danton Heinen - Jeff Carter - Kasperi Kapanen
Jason Zucker - Teddy Blueger - Brock McGinn
Drew O’Connor - Brian Boyle - Evan Rodrigues
Mike Matheson / Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson / John Marino
Mark Friedman / Chad Ruhwedel
Goalies: Louis Domingue (Alex D’Orio)
Scratches: Sidney Crosby, Tristan Jarry (foot), Nathan Beaulieu, Rickard Rakell (day-to-day), Casey DeSmith (out for the season), Brian Dumoulin (day-to-day), Radim Zohorna
—This is a big projection, since the official status of Crosby is closely guarded and still officially unknown for his availability for Game 6 as of this morning. But the fact he missed a game and took head contact and some general “next man up” attitudes and quotes sure make it seem like the Pens are preparing for having to play this game without their captain.
—Radim Zohorna was called up from the AHL yesterday. Zohorna has been doing really well as of late in Wilkes, with five points (2G+3A) in four playoff games to lead them in scoring. Zohorna could slot in for O’Connor in the above, but he might also be the 13th extra body up front to take warmups and be on hand just in case any issues pop up.
All eyes on Gene
With Crosby’s status unknown at best, a lot will fall on Evgeni Malkin to step up tonight. Per Pens PR, the other franchise player has come through a lot in the playoffs. Will he be able to do so again tonight?
Evgeni Malkin is no stranger to big-time playoff performances. After his two-point night in Game 5 (2A), Malkin enters tonight’s game with 53 multi-point efforts in his playoff career, and is one such performance from tying Joe Sakic (54) for the seventh-most multi-point performances in the playoffs in NHL history. Only teammate Sidney Crosby (67) has more multi-point games in their playoff career among active players.
Player Multi-Point Games
Wayne Gretzky 108
Mark Messier 77
Sidney Crosby 67
Jari Kurri 60
Paul Coffey 56
Glenn Anderson 56
Joe Sakic 54
Evgeni Malkin 53
Jean Beliveau 53