Game 2 Preview: vs New York Rangers - April 16, 2016 - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Game 2 Preview: vs New York Rangers - April 16, 2016



Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0) vs New York Rangers (0-1)
April 13, 2016 @ 8:00 PM - Consol Energy Center
TV: NBC
Pittsburgh Leads Series 1-0


The Rangers did everything they needed to in order to come into Pittsburgh and steal Game 1. The were aggressive on the forecheck and clogged the neutral zone to force Penguin turnovers and prevent Pittsburgh from being able to use their speed in transition. They dominated the possession game against one of the best puck possession teams in the league. And they lost by three goals, 5-2. They'll have a much tougher time catching the Pens off guard in Game 2, and if New York allows Pittsburgh to drive play it could be a quick series.

It'll also be a quick series if Henrik Lundqvist has to miss time, or if he isn't 100% after taking Marc Staal's stick through the eyehole of his mask in Game 1. Lundqvist would finish out the 1st period, but not before allowing Patric Hornqvist to slam home a rebound to open the scoring. Lundqvist wouldn't return for the start of the 2nd period, and his injury has the potential of tilting the goaltending in Pittsburgh's favor after it was a glaring issue entering the series. Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray are both on the shelf and trying to work their way back into the lineup, and Fleury could be back in net as early as today depending on how he progresses in his concussion recovery.

Patric Hornqvist was the big story of Game 1. After recording the first hat trick of his career on February 29th, he added his first career playoffs hat trick with 3 goals and an assist. He controlled the front of the net and gave Pittsburgh a physical presence down low that'll be instrumental in helping them beat Lundqvist. For the Rangers, it was Derek Stepan leading the way with 2 goals, one on a nice cross crease pass from Rick Nash on a 5-on-3, while he chipped a rebound over Zatkoff for his 2nd goal to cut the lead back down to two. Stepan was 3rd on the team in both goals and points during the regular season, and New York will need to get scoring contributions throughout the lineup to keep things close to a deeper Pens team capable of controlling the game play.

Projected Lines




Notes

- Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust will both be game time decisions, though both participated in a full practice yesterday and slotted in as part of the lineup.

- It was the first career playoff game for several Penguins, and both Tom Kuhnhackl and Conor Sheary managed to get on the score sheet after getting over some initial playoff nerves.

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