Rangers look to bounce back against Penguins in Metro Division matchup
On Wednesday night, the New York Rangers will look to get back into the win column as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers remain in first place in the Metropolitan division, while Pittsburgh currently sits in fifth. That being said, all divisional games have an added sense of importance. The Rangers will certainly need to improve from Monday night’s performance if they want to come away with a victory over the Penguins, who have been playing well as of late.
Rivalry matchups between the Rangers and Penguins are always highly anticipated. Last season, the Rangers were 2-1-1 against the Penguins. This will be a good chance for the Rangers to bounce back after being heavily outplayed in the third period of their 6-3 loss to the Dallas Stars.
The Rangers are still struggling to generate scoring at 5v5 play. Concerns are growing even more for Mika Zibanejad, who has still been unable to find the scoresheet recently. This has prompted the question of lineup changes from Peter Laviolette. With the team off today, we will not know of any changes to the lineup until the team takes the ice for morning skate.
Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:
New York Rangers (12-3-1) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (9-8-0)
Date/Time: November 22, 2023 @ 7:00 PM ET
Arena: PPG Paints Arena
TV: MSG, MSGSN
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM
Note: Subject to change, updated for each game
New York Rangers projected lineup
With Adam Fox still ineligible to return and Filip Chytil yet to resume skating, expect a similar lineup to Monday night. Here are the line combinations and defensive pairings:
Kreider – Zibanejad – Wheeler
Panarin – Trocheck – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Bonino – Kakko
Vesey – Goodrow – Pitlick
Miller – Trouba
Lindgren – Gustafsson
Jones – Schneider
Note: The Rangers will have a pre-game skate scheduled for 11:30 AM ET at PPG Paints Arena. Check back in for updates.
Update: Jonathan Quick appears to be tonight’s starter
New York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins
After a lackluster performance in Dallas, the Rangers will certainly be expected to come out firing against the Penguins. It will be interesting to see if any changes are made by Laviolette to the lineup. Toward the end of the game on Monday night, we saw Kaapo Kakko put back on the top line alongside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. It could have been Laviolette’s way of rewarding Kakko for finding the back of the net. Or he may have had enough of the Blake Wheeler experiment at the top line right-wing position.
Another lineup decision to keep an eye on is the defensive pairing of Zac Jones and Braden Schneider. They have struggled throughout the season as a pair, meaning it may be time to split them up.
The Rangers will look to focus on playing a more complete game against Pittsburgh. “For the most part I thought it was pretty good,” Laviolette explained. “In the second period I thought it got away from us a little bit in the neutral zone, they pressed a little bit more.”
It will be a quick turnaround as the Rangers had an off day on Tuesday. They will need to be prepared to face a dangerous team in the Penguins. While they may only be one game above .500, they have been playing well as of late. Sidney Crosby continues to lead the way in points with 22. Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin are close behind with 21 and 18, respectively. On defense, Erik Karlsson is having another strong season, as he already has 17 points.
In goal for the Penguins will most likely be Tristan Jarry. He has had a decent start to the year for the Penguins. While he holds a record of 6-7-0, his save percentage is an impressive .910 and he holds a GAA of 2.59.
The Rangers’ main focus is now on Pittsburgh. They are taking their first regulation loss of the month and wiping it clean from memory. “I don’t think we look at is too much,” said Rangers captain Jacob Trouba. “We liked our start, we liked where we were going into the third period. We didn’t have a good third period. It is what it is.”
It will be a good test for the Bluehshirts, who will look to avoid their first losing streak of the season when the puck drops in Pittsburgh.