New York Rangers Face Pittsburgh Penguins at the Igloo (Update)

Rangers TribuneContributor IFebruary 12, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02:  Chris Drury #23 of the New York Rangers  warms up against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center on February 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The New York Rangers, after coming off of a depressing loss to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night, will clash with the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Igloo tonight. Right now, the Penguins are probably one of the last teams in the league the Rangers want to be facing in the midst of their slump, but then again, a win over the defending Cup Champions would certainly be a confidence booster.

The Penguins have been winners in six of their last seven and are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers, on the other hand, have fallen to eleventh place in the East and have only won two of their last 10.

No, that is not a misprint, the Rangers have only won two games in their last 10. Certainly not what head coach John Tortorella wants out of his tam heading into the Olympic break.

Rangers Projected Lineup

Prospal - Christensen - Drury
Dubinsky - Jokinen - Callahan
Avery - Anisimov - Lisin
Prust - Boyle - Voros

Staal - Girardi
Del Zotto - Rozsival
Redden - Gilroy


Scratches: Marian Gaborik (thigh), Jody Shelley

Henrik Lundqvist has been rock solid in goal for the Blueshirts lately, but unfortunately the team in front of him has been inconsistent. One night, they will provide the all-star netminder with a surplus of defensive help as well as a great amount of offensive support. And on other nights, like Wednesday, the defense is quite porous and the offensive cannot find the back of the net. To be honest, I have no clue as to how Henrik deals with it.

Marian Gaborik, who missed last game due to a laceration of the hip, will once again be a game-time decision tonight against the Pens. The Slovakian star skated in practice and mentioned that he had trouble turning and stopping. In my opinion, there is no need to rush Gaborik and put him at risk of a more serious injury, so rest him tonight and get the remainder of the squad to learn how to score goals without him.

John Tortorella told reporters yesterday that the team has been lacking desperation and that he wants all things put off, including the Olympics, until every game leading up to the break is complete. He wants them solely focused on playing hockey and picking up critical points in the standings, which have been hard to come by for this team.

We will see if Torts’ comments have any impact at all on how the players take tonight’s tilt. The last time the Rangers played at Mellon Arena, well, I am sure you remember what happened….

Penguins Projected Lineup

Kunitz - Crosby - Guerin
Dupuis - Malkin - Fedotenko
Cooke - Staal - Kennedy
Rupp - Letestu - Adams

Gonchar - Orpik
Eaton - Letang
Goligoski - McKee


In other news, Rangers enforcer Donald Brashear, who has requested a trade, cleared waivers this afternoon and will become a part of the Wolf Pack (AHL) for the time being. Also, Brent Johnson will be in goal for the Pens in this one.

In-game updates on twitter available at twitter.com/RangersTribune .

UPDATE: According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the Rangers have acquired forward Jody Shelley for a draft pick.


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