Rangers vs. Penguins Game 2 preview: Blueshirts look to take 2-0 lead back to New York

The Rangers will have an opportunity to take control of their second round series on Sunday and grab a 2-0 lead before going back to New York on Monday.

There could have been plenty of excuses had the Rangers relinquished a 2-0 Game 1 lead en route to a loss: short rest, fatigue, and an offensively capable opponent in the Penguins. But after seeing their two goal lead evaporate on Friday (note: two goal leads are not safe!), the Rangers managed to regain their composure and take Game 1 in overtime 3-2.

But that was then, and this is now. There's no day-to-day momentum in the playoffs, and the Rangers will need another big effort Sunday if they have any chance at returning to New York with a 2-0 series lead. The importance of that of course cannot be understated, especially with the quick turnaround between Game's 2 and 3.

Everything looks status quo for the Rangers as far as the lineup is concerned, while Alain Vigneault may tweak the power play to try to get something jumpstarted. At morning skate, Anton Stralman was getting some point looks instead of John Moore, as the Rangers try to bust out of a slump that's run up to an 0-25 drought.

Beyond that, the only other Rangers' news to report is that Chris Kreider again skated on his own wearing a yellow non-contact jersey after the group of regulars finished up.

While Vigneault also said Kreider has showed signs of improvement, he said Kreider's potential to return this round is still unknown, while the coach did not outright rule out Kreider getting a crack at Pittsburgh. On the Penguins side of things, Brooks Orpik is still out with an undisclosed injury, while Brian Gibbons could make his series debut tonight, but his status is still also uncertain.

VS. Pittsburgh-penguins.vcff3791

[ NYR lead series 1-0 ]
New York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins

CONSOL Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA - 7:30 PM
Television: NBCSN, CBC, RDS | Radio: ESPN NY 98.7
Opponent's Blog: PensBurgh

Projected Lineup:

Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Daniel Carcillo
Brian Boyle - Dominic Moore - Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Kevin Klein - John Moore

Henrik Lundqvist
Cam Talbot

Scratches/Injuries: Justin Falk (healthy), Raphael Diaz (healthy), Jesper Fast (healthy), J.T. Miller (healthy), Chris Kreider (hand).