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Open Game Thread: Penguins vs Rangers

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Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

After trouncing the Penguins 5-2 on Monday night at PPG Paints Arena, the Rangers will welcome Pittsburgh into Madison Square Garden tonight as they clash for the second time out of five meeting this season. New York was able to keep Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin off the score sheet two nights ago, so look for them to replicate their strategy from Monday in the hopes of taking another two points and widening their division lead. The Rangers will be rolling with the following lines:

Michael Grabner-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash

Chris Kreider-Kevin Hayes-Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey-Brandon Pirri-J.T. Miller

Oscar Lindberg-Josh Jooris-Jesper Fast

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Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein

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Henrik Lundqvist

In spite of giving up five goals to the high powered Rangers' offense, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan has opted against making any major changes to his eighteen skaters, and will be sending out these player in the hopes of splitting the home and home:

Carl Hagelin-Sidney Crosby-Conor Sheary

Jake Guentzel-Evgeni Malkin-Phil Kessel

Scott Wilson-Nick Bonino-Bryan Rust

Tom Kuhnhackl-Matt Cullen-Eric Fehr

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Olli Maatta-Kristopher Letang

Brian Dumoulin-Trevor Daley

Ian Cole-Justin Schultz

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Matt Murray

Player To Watch: After being bumped into the Top Six and posting a multi-point game on Monday night, keep an eye on Kevin Hayes as he looks to continue making the most of his increased role. If he keeps up his strong play, Hayes has the opportunity to play himself into the Top Six permanently, and his development is a key factor to the Rangers hopes of success, both in the short term and long run.

Prediction: After walking into Pittsburgh and taking two points out of the steel city, the Rangers will come back home tonight and let the NHL know they're for real by defeating the reigning Stanley Cup Champions for the second time in three nights, this time on the back of a strong performance in goal from Henrik Lundqvist en route to a 4-2 victory.

Enjoy the game!