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Game Preview: Pens-Rangers

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop

The Penguins host the New York Rangers at PPG Paints Arena in a battle for first place in the Metro Division. 

MATCH: Penguins vs. Rangers

TIME: 7 p.m.

PLACE: PPG Paints Arena

TV: ROOT Sports

RADIO: 105.9 FM, the X

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

The Rangers lead the Metro Division with 47 points (2 ahead of Pittsburgh) … The Pens enter tonight's contest having lost two straight games, both in overtime … Pittsburgh, which averaged 5.8 goals over a 7-game winning streak, has scored just 1 goal in the past 2 games … Justin Schultz leads all NHL defensemen with 12 points (4G-8A) in the month of December … Evgeni Malkin has points in 15 of 17 home games this season … The Pens PK, which had struggled of late, has killed of 12 straight … The Pens are 13-1-2 when Sidney Crosby scores a goal … Goaltender Matt Murray will start. The rookie tender has a 12-game home unbeaten streak (10-0-2) … The Pens are without Kris Letang (lower-body, 2 games missed), Trevor Daley (upper-body, 1) and Tom Kuhnhackl (lower-body, 1) … The Rangers enter the contest on a 3-game winning streak … New York has posted shutouts in 3 of the last 6 games, allowing just 6 goals over the past 7 contests … Netminder Antti Raanta will start. He has posted a 3-1 mark, 0.75 GAA, .966 save percentage and 2 shutouts in his last 4 starts. He won his only career start against Pittsburgh … The Rangers are missing Rick Nash (groin), Mika Zibanejad (broken fibula) and Pavel Buchnevich (back).

MORNING SKATE REPORT:

The Pens held an optional skate. The only players that did not participate were Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. 

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