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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, December 18th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (24-10-1) at New York Rangers (16-17-1), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A depleted defensive group hasn't slowed down the Pittsburgh Penguins, who try to win a fifth straight game on Wednesday night in a visit to New York to battle the Rangers.

The Pens have a lengthy list of injured players, one that includes four of their top six defenseman: Rob Scuderi (ankle), Paul Martin (broken tibia), Brooks Orpik (concussion) and Kris Letang (upper body). Another, Deryk Engelland, has an in-person hearing on Wednesday for a hit in Saturday's game versus Detroit that will likely result in a suspension, leaving Matt Niskanen as the current elder statesman on Pittsburgh's defense.

Also, forward James Neal is set to serve the final contest of his five-game suspension tonight for his actions versus Boston on Dec. 7 and Evgeni Malkin did not play on Monday due to a lower-body injury that has him day-to-day.

The Penguins have been counting on players who have spent the majority of the season in the American Hockey League and Philip Samuelsson became the third defenseman to make his NHL debut with the club this season in Monday's 3-1 win.

Samuelsson joined Olli Maatta and Brian Dumoulin as fresh faces on Pittsburgh's blue line. He is the son of former Pens defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, currently an assistant coach for the Rangers.

Samuelsson played nearly 16 minutes versus Toronto.

Sidney Crosby had the game-winner with 6:03 left to play in regulation versus the Leafs. Robert Bortuzzo kept the puck in the Toronto zone and fed the puck down to Pascal Dupuis, who sent a pass to Crosby in the slot and the captain fired home a wrist shot.

"It was kept in at the blue line and Duper (Dupuis) found me in the slot and made a great pass there," said Crosby about the goal. "There was a lot of room there and he hit me on the tape and I found the back of the net."

Brandon Sutter followed with an empty-net tally and Chris Conner also scored for Pittsburgh, which has won nine of its last 10 and leads the Metropolitan Division by 10 points over Washington.

Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 25 saves, but it would not have been a Penguins game without another injury as Jayson Megna suffered a lower-body injury and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

The Rangers hope to take advantage and salvage the back half of their longest homestand in franchise history. New York opened a string of nine straight at home with four losses, but finally found the win column on Sunday with a 4-3 shootout decision over the Calgary Flames.

Benoit Pouliot had the winner in the seventh round, using several stick fakes before sliding the puck inside the right pipe.

"I just went in and I knew I was going to do that. I just had to get the goalie to move with me and then let the arm do the rest," said Pouliot.

Henrik Lundqvist sealed the win by stopping Mikael Backlund.

Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin scored in regulation for the Rangers, while Lundqvist picked up the victory thanks to 18 stops.

The Rangers have lost eight of their last 10 versus the Penguins, but did record a 5-1 home victory in the first meeting of the season between these clubs on Nov. 6. Five different skaters scored for New York and Lundqvist made 28 saves.

Lundqvist, expected to make his seventh straight start tonight, is 24-18-6 with a 2.39 goals against average in his career versus the Pens.

Letang had Pittsburgh's only goal and Fleury allowed five scores on 25 shots as the Pens lost their second straight at Madison Square Garden.

Fleury is 24-14-7 with four shutouts and a 2.71 GAA lifetime when facing the Rangers.

12/18 10:29:01 ET

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Schedule

Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia «4Final | Box
NY Rangers2Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Detroit1Final | Box
Boston «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Tampa Bay 4/20 7:00 PM ET
Montreal @theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS, Sun
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Los Angeles 4/20 10:00 PM ET
San Jose NBC, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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    Saturday at 7:00 pm on FOX50

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • MLB: LA Angels at NY Yankees

    Saturday at 1:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
Final
NYM 4
ATL 3
 
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
14th
PIT 2
MIL 3
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
12th
TAM 1
NYY 5
 
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
9th
CHC 2
CIN 8
 
9th
TEX 2
CWS 9
 
6th
OAK 2
HOU 1
 
6th
LOS 4
ARI 0
 
5th
COL 4
PHI 3
 
6th
SDP 2
SFG 4
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
Final
BOS 4
DET 1
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3