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Rangers Face Penguins For First Time This Season

First Matchup Since Last Year's Playoffs

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

The Rangers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time since last year's first-round defeat against the eventual Stanley Cup Champions.

Also for the first time this season, the Rangers enter a game losers of two straight following last night's 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers.

While New York dropped the decision, the biggest story to come out of Sunday's loss was the injury to Mika Zibanejad. The center slammed into the end boards early in overtime, resulting in a broken fibula that head coach Alain Vigneault said will keep him out of the lineup for six-to-eight weeks.

Vigneault said the Blueshirts will not recall a player from Hartord prior to tonight's game, opting instead to reinsert forward Oscar Lindberg, who was a healthy scratch last night as Josh Jooris returned from an injury.

While not confirmed, Antti Raanta is expected to get the start for the Rangers after Henrik Lundqvist played Sunday night. He's 4-0 this season with a 2.05 GAA and a .938 SV%. He's never started against the Penguins.

The Penguins have been trading wins and losses throughout November, going 5-2-2 thus far this month, most recently a 2-1 shootout loss to Buffalo Saturday night.

As expected, Sidney Crosby, Evegeni Malkin and Phil Kessel are leading the way offensively for the Penguins, with each scoring 16 points this season, though Crosby's have come in just 12 games.

The Penguins have split their goaltending duties over the last several weeks between Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury, following Murray's return from injury. He's expected to start after Fleury took the loss Saturday in Buffalo.

Rangers at Penguins

7 pm at PPG Paints Arena

Live coverage begins on MSG Network at 6:30 pm

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