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Penguins at Rangers preview

Pittsburgh center Crosby to miss first game of season; New York 4-1-1 in past six

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

PENGUINS (10-6-1) at RANGERS (7-6-2)



The Game

Sidney Crosby will miss his first game of the season when the Pittsburgh Penguins play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

The center and Pittsburgh's leading scorer with 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) is out with a lower-body injury sustained in the third period of a 3-2 shootout win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. He did not travel with the Penguins.

Pittsburgh, which has won back-to-back games and is 4-1-1 since Oct. 26, also is missing defenseman Kris Letang and forward Patric Hornqvist, both out with lower-body injuries.

The Rangers are 4-1-1 in their past six games, all without center Mika Zibanejad, who will miss his seventh consecutive game with an upper-body injury.


Players to watch

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has points in three straight games (one goal, four assists). He has 160 points (66 goals, 94 assists) in 120 games played without Crosby in the lineup.

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin has points in eight straight games (four goals, eight assists).


They said it

"He's our captain, our leader and everyone looks up to him. He leads by example with his play, so it's never easy when he's out, but it's got to be a team effort for everyone to step up and chip in in his absence. Hopefully he's not out too long." -- Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz on Sidney Crosby

"We've gotten some great goaltending through the stretch and we've been opportunistic on the power play. We've played some really good teams too. We've played some really good teams in the stretch we've gotten points in five of the last six. That being said, I'm dying for [Zibanejad] to come back." -- Rangers coach David Quinn


Penguins projected lineup

Dominik Simon -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Alex Galchenyuk -- Jared McCann -- Jake Guentzel

Dominik Kahun -- Nick Bjugstad -- Sam Lafferty

Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Brandon Tanev

Brian Dumoulin -- John Marino

Marcus Pettersson -- Justin Schultz

Jack Johnson -- Juuso Riikola

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel

Injured: Sidney Crosby (lower body), Kris Letang (lower body), Patric Hornqvist (lower body)


Rangers projected lineup 

Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Chris Kreider -- Filip Chytil -- Pavel Buchnevich

Brendan Lemieux -- Brett Howden -- Kaapo Kakko

Greg McKegg -- Lias Andersson -- Brendan Smith

Libor Hajek -- Jacob Trouba

Brady Skjei -- Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Alexandar Georgiev

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Micheal Haley

Injured: Mika Zibanejad (upper body), Marc Staal (ankle)


Status report

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan wouldn't confirm if Crosby will miss the game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Friday. … Zibanejad isn't expected to play the rest of this week either, when New York plays at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday and Florida Panthers on Saturday. 


Stat pack

The Penguins are 0-for-25 on the power play in 11 games since Oct. 16. They also are 24-for-26 on the penalty kill (92.3 percent) in that same span. … Panarin leads the Rangers with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) and has been on the ice for 28 of their 51 goals.

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