Game #75: Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers Open Thread

For the first and and last time on the 2023-24 campaign, the New York Rangers will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden in a Metropolitan Division clash. The wacky nature of the NHL schedule once expansion to 32 teams was finalized means that one division rival will only visit the Rangers a single time over the course of 82 game gauntlet that the regular season is. The Penguins are that one rival this season, and so Peter Laviolette’s squad will look to finish off a season series sweep in the third and final meeting against Pittsburgh.

The Rangers were in the Steel City during their stretch of five games in seven days in the middle of March, and they emerged with a wild 7-4 victory over the Penguins in that contest. While the Rangers have already clinched their playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, the current Presidents’ Trophy front runners will get to make their mark on the race for the final Wild Card spot. Six of New York’s next seven games come against the current 8th through 12th ranked teams in the East, with Pittsburgh currently sitting in 12th place and in need of a miracle to make the playoffs. Don’t count on any magical runs starting tonight.

Player to Watch: Jacob Trouba

Trouba returned to the lineup after a multi-week absence due to a lower body injury during Saturday’s win in Arizona. New York’s captain didn’t cover himself in glory in his return, but will have an opportunity to bounce back against the Penguins tonight. Keep an eye on Trouba as the Rangers look to shut the lights on Pittsburgh’s already dim playoff hopes.

Enjoy the game!