Patriots vs. Lions Rangers Game 4 Preview: Lines, how to watch

Who: New York Rangers (1-2) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (2-1)

When: 7:00 pm Eastern

How to Watch: ESPN Anywhere in America (Also available on AT&T Sportsnet in the local regional viewing area).

Opponent Track: It’s got to be gut check time for the Rangers after a near comeback wasn’t quite enough in a Game 3 that will go down in the books as a poor one for them. If they can pull the split in Pittsburgh, it’s a good one of three and NYR re-gains home ice advantage again. If not, they’ll head home for Game 5 with their season on the line Wednesday night.

Pens Path Ahead: As mentioned, Game 5 will be Wednesday at 7pm, in Madison Square Garden. Game 6, if necessary, will be back in the ‘Burgh on Friday night.

Hidden Stat: Pittsburgh is 18-8 (.692) in the playoff series all-time when entering Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead, which includes a 5-2 series record when starting that series on the road. (h / t Pens PR).

SBN Counterpart Blog: Blueshirt Banter

Game 4 Lines

FORWARDS

Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Frank Vatrano

Artemi Panarin – Ryan Strome – Andrew Copp

Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko

Dryden Hunt – Kevin Rooney – Ryan Reaves

DEFENSEMEN

K’Andre Miller / Jacob Trouba

Justin Braun / Adam Fox

Patrik Nemeth / Braden Schneider

Goalies: Igor Shesterkin (Alexandar Georgiev)

Scratches: Julien Gauthier, Lauri Pajuniemi, Greg McKegg, Johnny Brodzinski, Tim Gettinger, Nils Lundqvist, Zac Jones, Jarred Tinordi, Libor Hajek, Matthew Robertson, Keith Kinkaid, Ryan Lindgren (game-time decision), Barclay Goodrow (week-to-week) )

IR: Sammy Blais

—Sunday was a day of rest for both teams. The Rangers were off the ice and confirmed that third-line spark plug forward Tyler Motte did not make the trip to Pittsburgh.

– The Rangers also indicated that Ryan Lindgren (who missed the last two games with a lower body injury) is looking for day-to-day and if he can skate in the morning skate today in the lead up for Game 4. NYR Could use it, as some of their lower defenders – namely Patrik Nemeth – have had a lot of trouble either staying out of the penalty box and giving up a lot of scoring chances.

Kids line

One area coach Gerard Gallant has liked his third line, composed of young former first round pick Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere and Filip Chytil. They’ve had some bright spots, including combining for the Rangers’ first goal of Game 3.

New York is probably going to need more tangible offense out of these players if they want to get back in the series. NYR’s best players have been their best players (Panarin, Fox, Kreider). That next level of support is right there in this line.

Up and Down

Now in four games, who are some of the Rangers players standing out in good and bad ways? To me, most of the top players have been advertised.

Adam Fox, last year’s Norris winner, is kind of an afterthought nationally, even though his season in 2021-22 (11 goals and 74 points in 79 games) is probably even better than it was in 2020-21 when he won the Norris. (5G and 47 points in 55 games). Fox has been on ice for 4 GF to just 1 GA at 5v5.

K’Andre Miller has a real tower of power on the back-end with two assists in the three games and an average of 29:13 in the three games (that 3OT game throws everything off yet). Miller has been on ice for 4 Rangers goals, to only 2 against 5v5.

On the downward slope, Nemeth has been a disaster, and youngster Braden Schneider has struggled mightily. The Rangers’ fourth line has also been badly out-chanced and off the ice aside from a hot start in the first period of the first game.

And now for the Pens ..

Projected Lines

Forwards

Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust

Danton Heinen – Evgeni Malkin – Kasperi Kapanen

Jason Zucker – Jeff Carter – Brock McGinn

Brian Boyle – Teddy Blueger – Evan Rodrigues

Defense

Mike Matheson / Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson / John Marino

Mark Friedman / Chad Ruhwedel

Goalies: Louis Domingue (Alex D’Orio)

Scratches: Drew O’Connor, Tristan Jarry (foot), Nathan Beaulieu, Rickard Rakell (day-to-day), Casey DeSmith (out for the season), Brian Dumoulin (day-to-day)

– Like the Rangers, the Pens were given the day off on the ice to recover and recover for tonight’s game. Coach Mike Sullivan said Rakell was the only player who got some ice work yesterday, which seems to be a good sign. Given the nature of a (possible) concussion, it remains to be seen when Rakell is able to make it through the protocol, but at least he has been well enough to get on the ice these last few days.

– And that includes Tristan Jarry, who was told to have a planned day off yesterday. Who knows what that says about Jarry’s current status, he’s only been on the ice for one day (Saturday) so far in his recovery. There were some outside whispers that he might be targeting or hopeful for a possible Game 5 return on Wednesday in New York, but the clock is ticking loudly. Jarry skated again on his own Monday morning, but still has face shots against him. (Update: Jarry did take a few controlled shots from goalie coach Andy Chiodo on Monday).

Random fun facts

A lot of trivia to get today:

  • With 127 career playoff assists, Crosby is now tied with Jari Kurri for 7th place all-time in NHL playoff assists. Crosby is one behind Doug Gilmour and only two behind Nicklas Lidstrom in 5th place.
  • Crosby now sits in 6th place in career playoff points (197). Next up on his list is the great Jaromir Jagr (201).
  • Mike Sullivan (43) has tied Dan Bylsma for most playoff wins all-time for a Penguin coach.
  • Evan Rodrigues’ three point period in Game 3 was impressive. The only Penguin player to ever have more points in a period is Mario Lemieux, who has two four-point playoff periods on his belt (1989 and 1992).
  • The Pens’ record in the first round series of the playoffs is 19-14 …. which seems really odd to believe that almost half of the franchise’s playoff history is in the Crosby era, but here we are.
  • Pittsburgh’s all-time record at the PPG Paints Arena in the playoffs is now 32-27

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