GAME: New York Rangers (15-14-5-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (9-21-5-3).
TIME: Saturday, 1 p.m. EST.
Mike Dunham is considered the New York Rangers' No. 1 goaltender.
That may not remain the case if he continues to get outplayed by backup
New York looks to end a four-game road trip with a win over the Pittsburgh
Penguins -- owners of the worst record in the Eastern Conference.
Dunham was pulled for the second time in his last three starts Thursday in
the Rangers' 5-4 loss at St. Louis after allowing four goals on 12 shots.
Though he wasn't charged with the loss because New York scored twice late in
the third period, Dunham is 4-7-2 in his last 13 decisions. While Dunham is
three games under .500 with a 2.72 goals-against average, Markkanen is 5-2-1 in
his past eight and two games over the break-even mark this season with a 2.26
"I'm missing that big save," Dunham said. "That's the difference with me
Dunham clearly wasn't at his best Thursday, but ineffective special teams
also contributed to the loss. The Rangers allowed four power-play goals and
went 1-for-7 when they had the man advantage.
"We didn't want to give them the opportunity to beat us on the power play
and we did," New York's Petr Nedved said. "We gave them life on the power
Poor play on special teams has been a problem lately for New York, which
failed to win three straight for the fifth time this season. The Rangers are
3-for-27 on the power play in the last six games and have allowed eight goals
while shorthanded in that span.
New York's Anson Carter returned to the lineup Thursday after missing three
games with a strained ribcage muscle, but defenseman Darius Kasparaitis missed
his second straight game with the same injury.
Poor penalty killing also cost the Penguins in their last game -- a 3-2 loss
at Nashville on Thursday -- as the Predators scored all of their goals on the
Thursday marked the ninth time this season Pittsburgh has allowed two or
more power-play goals in a game, and the third time it gave up three. The
Penguins' penalty-killing rate of 79.2 percent is the league's third-worst.
"We're either going to have to make wholesale changes on the personnel side
of killing penalties or change the way that we kill penalties," Penguins coach
Ed Olczyk said.
Pittsburgh, 1-5-1 in its last seven games, has allowed an NHL-worst 135
goals while scoring just 77.