Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0)
Jeff Zatkoff played not only played the biggest game of his career, so far, on Wednesday, he also played one of his best in game one of this opening playoff series against the New York Rangers. While the status of injured players like Marc-Andre Fleury, Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin is now listed as day-to-day, head coach Mike Sullivan seems very optimistic about having a fully healthy team soon.
Although it is very unlikely for any of those players to play in today’s game against the Rangers, or at least to play much, Sullivan had this to say yesterday about the Penguins’ practice: “They all had strong practices. Status is still day-to-day, but it’s very promising.”
Pittsburgh did not miss a beat in game one and continued to excite fans with its potent offense. The Penguins will need Zatkoff to repeat his performance in Wednesday’s game if Pittsburgh wants a shot at making this a quick series.
New York Rangers (0-1)
Although the Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist missed most of game one, it is more than likely he will make the start today for game two. Lundqvist did look a bit shaky in his first start, but he is nonetheless a major reason the Rangers had a good season. Look to see if New York’s netminder is affected at all by his injury and whether or not it will play a part in Pittsburgh generating traffic around the net.
“[Lundqvist is] our leader,” said Rangers forward J.T. Miller. “We need him to be healthy. It was a scary moment. You definitely don’t want to see that.”
The Rangers’ offense will look to play much better than it did in game one. New York was unable to crack Zatkoff and could not keep up with the Penguins’ offense. New York’s defense must also step up and stop Pittsburgh from separating itself.
The Penguins are on a roll and have shown they can score against Lundqvist. The Rangers will put up a tough fight with their usual starter between the pipes but will still fall to the Penguins, 4-3.
Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Saturday, April 16 @ 3:00 p.m.
Watch: NBC, CBC, TVA Sports