It may say on paper that this is the third year the Penguins and Rangers are meeting in the postseason, but this is a different Penguins team at Consol Energy Center on Wednesday night. Since Mike Sullivan took over as head coach the Pens are flying, scoring 3.24 goals per game in 54 outings. And while they have the offensive firepower to compete with any team in the Stanley Cup playoffs, problems in goal give the Rangers hope at a third straight series win.
Here’s everything you need to know about game one:
Date: Wednesday, April 13
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
TV Channel: USA/Root/MSG/Sportsnet
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Preview: It hasn’t been easy for either of these teams this season, but now once again they find themselves in contention for the NHL’s top prize. But while the Rangers have the experience, there are serious doubts about their defense heading into the postseason. Henrik Lundqvist registered the highest GAA of his career, and was pulled from two of his last five starts. Not exactly what you’d call “getting hot” before the postseason.
Lundqvist may not have been his usual self this season, but at least he’s healthy. That adjective doesn’t apply to the majority of Penguins goalies, as two of the team’s netminders are dealing with concussion symptoms heading into the postseason. Starter Marc-Andre Fleury suffered his second concussion on March 31, and his backup Matthew Murray is questionable after a rough collision over the weekend. The Penguins also have Jeff Zatkoff, who has made 35 starts over three seasons, and recalled 20-year old Tristan Jarry from Wilkes Barre/Scranton. Penguins fans are hoping they don’t have to hear those names too much going forward in the playoffs.