NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, November 15th (All times eastern)
New York Rangers (9-7-1) at Pittsburgh Penguins (9-8-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will take aim at a third straight win when they welcome the New York Rangers to CONSOL Energy Center for tonight's Atlantic Division clash.
The Penguins are coming off wins over Tampa Bay and Atlanta, marking just the second time this year that Pittsburgh has recorded consecutive victories. The other time was during a four-game win streak from October 15-21.
Pittsburgh beat the Lightning, 5-1, in the Steel City on Friday and earned a victory in Atlanta the following night. Tonight marks the start of a three- game homestand for the Pens, who are just 3-5-0 in the inaugural season at CONSOL Energy Center.
Evgeni Malkin was the star for Pittsburgh in Saturday's win over the Thrashers, as the Russian notched the sixth hat trick of his career in his club's 4-2 win at Philips Arena.
Malkin added an assist while Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots in the win.
"Everyone played great tonight," said Malkin. "This was my first power-play goal of the season and I hope it's not my last. We moved the puck well tonight and it paid off."
Crosby carries a five-game point streak into tonight's tilt and has six goals and six assists during the run.
Meanwhile, the Rangers will try to carry over some scoring from Sunday's offensive explosion when they shoot for a third straight win tonight.
The Blueshirts pounded the visiting Edmonton Oilers, 8-2, on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden and were led by Marian Gaborik, who recorded a hat trick for his first three goals of the season.
Gaborik, in just his second game back after missing 12 contests with a separated shoulder, recorded his 11th career hat trick. The Rangers were still without goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for the second straight game because of an illness, but Martin Biron filled in admirably with 19 saves. Biron could get his third straight start tonight.
Alex Frolov scored twice and assisted on a pair of goals for New York, which . can tie its longest winning streak of the season with a victory tonight. The Rangers also won three in a row from October 21-24.
Brian Boyle, Artem Anisimov and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored, while Erik Christensen picked up three assists in the lopsided victory -- the second- largest over the Oilers at home in franchise history. The Rangers laid a 10-2 beating on Edmonton in its first trip to Manhattan on October 24, 1979.
"Hopefully, we can build on this and keep going forward," said Gaborik.
The game also featured 124 combined penalty minutes and a large portion of those came after a brawl at 11:18 of the third period. The fisticuffs were set off by Rangers forward Sean Avery, who was accused of sucker-punching Edmonton's Ladislav Smid.
The Rangers are 5-2-0 as the guest this season and are playing six of their next eight games on the road.
Tonight marks the first of six meetings between these division rivals. Pittsburgh won five out of six encounters in 2009-10 and has taken eight of nine overall in the series. The Rangers have dropped 10 of 12 and 12 of their last 15 games in Pittsburgh, but this will be their first test in the Pens' new arena.
11/15 11:00:19 ET