Season series: This is the fifth and final meeting. The Pittsburgh Penguins took the first three, but the New York Rangers rolled to a 6-1 win at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
Big story: The Penguins are banged up and enter this game on a two-game losing streak without defensemen Kris Letang and Paul Martin and captain Sidney Crosby. The Rangers looked like a different team Wednesday largely because they were a different team. Trade acquisitions Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard and John Moore all scored in their first game as Rangers, with Clowe getting his first two goals of the season Wednesday.
Rangers: The trade that sent picks to the San Jose Sharks for Ryane Clowe and Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brassard, Moore and injured Derek Dorsett paid immediate dividends. The Rangers scored a season-high six goals to push themselves into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
"I just wanted to have a good start and get into it early, not ease my way into it," Clowe said. "It went well."
Penguins: The Penguins looked slow and disorganized as the Rangers blitzed them with their forecheck. Pittsburgh needs to regroup quickly; their 15-game win streak is a thing of the past.
"I thought the compete level from the Rangers and their game was very high, and we certainly didn't match it," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "It wasn't there. I think that was evident throughout. We got beat by a team that competed harder and was more desperate."
Who's hot: Brassard's four-point game Wednesday included his three-game goal streak being extended. He has three goals and three assists in his past three games.
Injury report: Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (eye) has been out more than a month but has been working out of late. .... Crosby (jaw), Martin (hand) and Letang (lower body) are out.