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Game Preview: Pens-Rangers

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens begin a back-to-back 2-game road trip tonight in MSG against the Rangers.

MATCH: Penguins vs. Rangers

TIME: 8 p.m. EST

PLACE: Madison Square Garden

TV: NBCSN

RADIO: 105.9 FM, the X

5 THINGS

1. Bryan Rust skated at practice on Tuesday and did line rushes. He hopes to play tonight, but that decision will be up to the coaching staff.

2. Center Evgeni Malkin was named the NHL's "Third Star" of the Week. He posted 8 points (3G-5A) in 4 games to climb to 87 (39G-48A) on the season, which is 4 points behind NHL-leader Nikita Kucherov. Since Jan. 1, 2018, Malkin's 51 points (25G-26A) are the most in the league.

3. Pittsburgh's blueliners have scored in 12 of the last 16 games (15 total), led by Olli Maatta's 4 tallies.

4. The Rangers have a different look since last playing the Pens. New York has traded Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller, Michael Grabner, Nick Holden and Ryan Grave.

5. One player the Rangers acquired in all of those trades is Ryan Spooner (Boston). He has 13 points (2G-11A) in his first 8 games with New York, including 7 points in the first 3 contests.

INJURIES

PIT - Zach Aston-Reese (upper-body), Bryan Rust (concussion), Matt Murray (concussion), Dominik Simon (lower-body).

NYR - David Desharnais (kidney stone), Steven Kampfer (fractured hand), Ondrej Pavelec (MCL sprain), Kevin Shattenkirk (meniscus tear).

MORNING SKATE

* The Pens held an optional morning skate. Here are the projected lines:

Guentzel-Crosby-Sheary

Hagelin-Malkin-Hornqvist

(Rust)-Brassard-Kessel

Kuhnhackl-Sheahan-Rowney

Dumoulin-Letang

Oleksiak-Schutlz

Maatta-Ruhwedel

DeSmith

Rust will be a game-time decision.

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