GAME DAY REPORT: Game 2 – Pens @ Rangers

The Pittsburgh Penguins started off the 2012-13 season on the right foot as they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in enemy territory 3-1. Marc-Andre Fleury was strong all game long. Flower withstood a barrage of shots by the Flyers in the second and third periods as he earned his 227th career win – a franchise record.

However, Fleury will be given a rest against the Rangers today, giving way to first year Penguin, Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun played one game against the Rangers last season; stopping all shots coming his way for a 1-0 victory.

“They’re a good team, based on good defense and good goaltender. They get a lot of pressure up front; they skate a lot and block a lot of shots…  They’ve got some new addition guys. They’re tough around the net, they go hard to the net. Tough team to play against as are any, and you gotta be ready all the time.” -Tomas Vokoun

With a win today, the Penguins will open up a four-point lead against both the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, as the Flyers lost to the Buffalo Sabres earlier today 5-2.

WILL TEMPERS BE HIGH?
The last time these two teams met, Brooks Orpik layed a knee-on-knee hit on Derek Stepan, which left New York coach John Tortorella livid. Tortorella lambasted the Penguins after the game, resulting in $20,000 fine.That’s ridiculous.” – Tortorella

The Penguins won the final four meetings of 2011-12 after losing the first two, going 4-2-0 against the Rangers last season. The Pens out scored the Blueshirts 20-12 in the season series.

Former Penguin tough guy, Arron Asham will make his Rangers debut against the Penguins.

NOTEWORTHY STATS
Sidney Crosby
notched 5 points, all assist, in three games during last years season series.

Evgeni Malkin posted great stats against the Rangers as well (6G-2A) in the season series. Malkin has done well against the Blueshirts throughout his career notching 32 Points (18G-14A) in 36 games.

Brandon Sutter played a very strong game in the season opener, look for him to continue to make an impact. In his career, Sutter has 5 points (1G-4A) in 14 games against the Rangers.

In ten career games against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Rick Nash has scored at a point-per-game clip, (5G-5A)

Another Point-Per-Game player against the Rangers is Penguins winger James Neal. Neal has 10 points (3G-7A) against the Rangers in his career.

LINES:
Probable Rangers lines
Hagelin-Richards-Nash
Gaborik-Stepan-Callahan
Pyatt-Boyle-Kreider
Rupp-Halpern-Asham

McDonagh-Girardi
Staal-Stralman
Del Zotto-Bickel

Probable Penguins lines
Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis
Tangradi-Malkin-Neal
Cooke-Sutter-Kennedy
Glass-Vitale-Adams

Orpik-Martin
Letang-Niskanen
Despres-Engelland

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
For the Penguins, Sidney Crosby. Crosby looks to get on the stat sheet for the first time this season. He has always fared well against the Rangers, tallying 57 points (20G-37A) against the Rangers in his career.

For the Rangers, Marian Gaborik led the Rangers with 41 goals last season. Gaborik has been dangerous against the Pens throughout his career, He has 22 points (10G-12A) in 24 career games against the Penguins.

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