hockey | nhl

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers Pick & Prediction APR 8TH 2021

FinishedTV: ATTSN | MSGMadison Square Garden New York

17Pittsburgh Penguins
18New York Rangers

OP
5.5
-1.5
CU
6o -104
-1.5 +190
ML
325
260
Partials
1 2 3
1 2 2
0 1 1
Score
5
2
Recap

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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers Recap APR 8TH 2021

Rookie Kaapo Kakko scored twice, including the game-winning goal with 2:36 remaining in overtime, as the host New York Rangers survived squandering a two-goal lead and edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Tuesday night.

The Rangers improved to 6-2-1 in their last nine games thanks to Kakko's first career two-goal game.

The Penguins nearly won it when Evgeni Malkin got control of the puck moments before Kakko's overtime goal but Malkin was unable to control the puck. The loose puck went to rookie defenseman Adam Fox, who quickly skated from the defensive zone into the offensive zone.

Fox waited for Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray to go down and threaded a slick cross-ice pass from the middle of the ice to Kakko, who deflected the puck into the vacated right side of the net.

Kakko and Fox scored in the opening period for the Rangers, who also got a 30-save performance from goaltender Alexander Georgiev. Artemi Panarin had an assist and extended his points streak to nine games.

Defenseman Justin Schultz scored in the second period and Jared McCann tied the game with a power-play goal that ended Pittsburgh's 0-for-28 drought with the man advantage. Malkin also had an assist for the Penguins, who played without Sidney Crosby (lower body injury) for the first time this season and nearly completed a third straight comeback.

Murray finished with 24 saves for Pittsburgh, which is 4-1-2 in its last seven contests and will be without Crosby for at least one more game.

The Rangers took the lead 6:42 into the game when Kakko finished off a breakaway, and then went up 2-0 with 11 seconds left in the first when Fox finished off a nifty feed from Panarin with a wrist shot from the right side of the crease.

Schultz made it a one-goal game 73 seconds in with a wrist shot from the left circle. The Penguins tied it when McCann ended their power-play drought by getting his wrist shot to deflect off Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei's skate and into the net with 7:27 left in the second period.

--Field Level Media

Whatever it is, the New York Rangers are feeling it.

Not only are they aiming for a two-game sweep Thursday night against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, but also they are looking to continue to climb toward a playoff spot in the East Division.

The Rangers are 8-3-2 in their past 13 games and are five points below the playoff line in the East.

"We're trying to make a push for the playoffs, and there are only so many games left," said New York defenseman Adam Fox, who has an 11-game points streak after notching a goal and two assists Tuesday in an 8-4 win over the Penguins.

"We're a hungry team. Everyone is hungry."

One indication of that might be New York's prolific offense lately, both in numbers and in spreading it around.

Eleven of the Rangers' 18 skaters scored points Tuesday. And their youngsters chipped in - in addition to Fox, 23, Alexis Lafreniere, 19, and Kaapo Kakko, 20, scored, and Filip Chytil, 21, added two assists.

New York also was 3-for-3 on the power play and scored shorthanded.

That's how life has gone lately, especially on offense. Over their past 11 games, the Rangers have wins of 9-0, 8-3 and 8-4.

"You know, you have those nights where it seems the puck goes in no matter what you're doing," said New York's Mika Zibanejad, who also scored Tuesday.

Poppycock, the Penguins said. Or something equivalent to that. They have a good idea of exactly why the Rangers were able to score eight goals - and the Boston Bruins seven against them in the previous game.

That would be a severe breakdown in the solid two-way game Pittsburgh seemed to have perfected before falling by a combined 15-9 during its two-game losing streak.

"It looks like we're kind of lost," Penguins forward Jared McCann said. "We're giving up (opponent scoring) chances we don't usually give up.

"We're hanging our goalies out to dry."

It's not just the defensemen. McCann alluded to Pittsburgh in general getting a bit greedy in trying to score.

"I think we're getting ahead of ourselves a little too much offensively," he said. "We're cheating a little bit."

Pittsburgh won five straight before stumbling the past two games.

Before their two straight losses in which they gave up 15 goals, the Penguins had given up 15 goals -- total -- over a stretch of nine games.

"These are hard ones because they sting (and) because we have a proud group," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "We've had a lot of success this year. We've got to find a way to get back to some of the details that are necessary to give ourselves the best chance to win.

"It's hard to win games consistently when you give up the quality chances that we've given up the last two games."

Now sitting as close to first in the East as they are to the fourth and final playoff spot in the division, the Penguins seem ready to do that.

"You're not going to sit here and whine about it; let's learn from it and move forward," McCann said.

Pittsburgh defenseman John Marino, who left in the third period Tuesday after appearing to smack his chin on the ice, did not practice Wednesday. Sullivan termed it a maintenance day.

--Field Level Media

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GAMES

Last 10

W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • New Jersey W 6 - 7
  • @Buffalo L 2 - 4
  • @Buffalo W 3 - 2
  • Philadelphia L 2 - 1
  • @New Jersey W 5 - 2
  • @New Jersey W 6 - 4
  • @NY Rangers W 5 - 2
  • @NY Rangers L 4 - 8
  • @Boston L 5 - 7
  • @Boston W 4 - 1
W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • @NY Islanders L 1 - 6
  • @New Jersey W 5 - 3
  • New Jersey W 3 - 6
  • New Jersey W 0 - 4
  • @New Jersey W 3 - 0
  • @NY Islanders L 2 - 3
  • @NY Islanders W 4 - 1
  • Pittsburgh L 5 - 2
  • Pittsburgh W 4 - 8
  • @Buffalo L 2 - 3

Next Games

  • New Jersey(04-20-21) W 6 - 7
  • New Jersey(04-20-21) W 6 - 7
  • Boston(03-16-21) L 2 - 1
  • Boston(03-16-21) L 2 - 1
  • @Washington(02-25-21) L 2 - 5
  • Philadelphia(03-17-21) W 0 - 9
  • Philadelphia(03-17-21) W 0 - 9
  • Buffalo(03-22-21) W 3 - 5
  • Buffalo(03-22-21) W 3 - 5
  • NY Islanders(02-08-21) L 2 - 0

Last Meetings

  • Penguins @ Rangers 5-2
  • Penguins @ Rangers 4-8
  • Rangers @ Penguins 2-4
  • Rangers @ Penguins 1-5
  • Penguins @ Rangers 1-3
  • Penguins @ Rangers 5-4
  • Rangers @ Penguins 2-3
  • Rangers @ Penguins 3-4
  • Penguins @ Rangers 2-3
  • Rangers @ Penguins 4-3

Eastern Conference

AtlanticWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Florida Panthers3012363 16-0-414-0-8152126L16-0-3
Tampa Bay Lightning3014161 17-0-613-0-8153121L15-0-5
Toronto Maple Leafs2812561 14-0-714-0-5147120L46-0-2
Boston Bruins2612456 14-0-612-0-6127110L27-0-2
Montreal Canadiens1915644 10-0-109-0-5126123L23-0-7
Detroit Red Wings1625537 10-0-106-0-15107153L34-0-4
Ottawa Senators1626335 9-0-107-0-16126166L14-0-6
Buffalo Sabres1227428 5-0-157-0-12111156L15-0-4

Western Conference

CentralWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Colorado Avalanche309363 18-0-412-0-5154101L19-0-1
Minnesota Wild2813258 17-0-411-0-9137117L27-0-2
Winnipeg Jets2715155 11-0-716-0-8144120L16-0-3
Nashville Predators2521151 14-0-911-0-12126132L26-0-4
Chicago Blackhawks2120345 11-0-810-0-12129144L15-0-5
Dallas Stars1914644 12-0-67-0-8130113L26-0-2
St. Louis Blues1918442 7-0-1012-0-8124135L23-0-6

Eastern Conference

MetropolitanWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Carolina Hurricanes3010363 16-0-314-0-7146108L16-0-2
Washington Capitals2913260 14-0-615-0-7163141L16-0-4
New York Islanders2913361 19-0-210-0-11133106L27-0-3
Pittsburgh Penguins2914260 17-0-312-0-11159132L16-0-3
New York Rangers2317450 11-0-712-0-10152124L16-0-2
Philadelphia Flyers2018343 9-0-1011-0-8128162L23-0-4
Columbus Blue Jackets1524636 8-0-87-0-16117163L71-0-8
New Jersey Devils1425230 4-0-1710-0-8115157L71-0-9

Western Conference

PacificWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Vegas Golden Knights3211064 17-0-415-0-7150100L18-0-2
Edmonton Oilers2715256 14-0-813-0-7141121L16-0-2
Arizona Coyotes2021343 11-0-99-0-12123146L14-0-6
Calgary Flames1923240 10-0-109-0-13118133L24-0-6
San Jose Sharks1822238 8-0-1010-0-12120152L63-0-6
Vancouver Canucks1718236 10-0-97-0-9103122L36-0-3
Los Angeles Kings1620537 7-0-99-0-11114127L23-0-7
Anaheim Ducks1425533 5-0-169-0-9103147L23-0-6

Last Injuries

New York Rangers

  • Jacob Trouba

    Upper Body
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Trouba was lifted from the last contest with an upper-body injury, and it is unknown if he will lace up against the Flyers on Thursday.

  • Alexandar Georgiev

    Leg
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Georgiev was forced from the last contest with a leg injury, and it is unknown if he will face the Islanders on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Mark Friedman

    Upper Body
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Friedman has been activated from the injured reserve list due after recuperating from an upper-body injury, and it is likely that he will face the Penguins on Thursday.

  • Frederick Gaudreau

    Lower Body
    Out indefinitely | out

    Gaudreau is out of the lineup with a lower-body injury, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Brandon Tanev

    Upper Body
    Late May | I-R

    Tanev has been added to the long-term injured reserve list with an upper-body injury, and he is not expected to be available until the end of May.

  • Kasperi Kapanen

    Lower Body
    Late April | I-R

    Kapanen has been ticketed for the injured reserve list with a lower-body injury, and he is not projected to return until the latter part of April.

  • Teddy Blueger

    Upper Body
    Prob Sun | probable

    Blueger has been activated from the injured reserve list due after recovering from an upper-body injury, and he is expected to face the Devils on Sunday.

  • John Marino

    Upper Body
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Marino exited the last game with an upper-body injury, and it is unknown if he will be active for Thursday's match versus the Rangers.