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Game #52: New York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins Open Thread

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

After taking care of Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals two nights ago, the Blueshirts will look to do so against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins this afternoon. Much has been made of the Rangers’ post-break schedule, with today’s matinee being the second out of 16 divisional games over the final 32 games of the season for Gerard Gallant’s squad.

New York is currently ahead of Pittsburgh by one point for second place in the Metropolitan Division, and the Blueshirts have two games in hand. However, a scheduling quirk has resulted in today’s meeting being the first time all season these division rivals are meeting, and they’ll meet another three times in March. Both these teams are all but assured a spot in the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals, and are currently on a collision course for a first round meeting.

Player to Watch: Barclay Goodrow

As the stretch run comes into focus and the Rangers begin to play playoff-type games, their offseason acquisitions will come into focus. Chiefly among those acquisitions was Barclay Goodrow, whose presence on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s roster for their last two championship runs was deemed worthy of an $18.6 million contract. Keep an eye on Goodrow today.

Enjoy the game!