Rangers-Penguins Preview

Sidney Crosby’s personal streak is still going, but the

Pittsburgh Penguins’ string of victories is not after a tight loss

to an Atlantic Division foe.

They’ll try to bounce back by extending a pretty impressive run

against another rival.

The Penguins have earned 20 points from their last 11 meetings

with the New York Rangers, a stretch Crosby looks to help his team

continue at home Wednesday night as he tries to record a point in a

career-high 20th consecutive game.

Pittsburgh (21-9-2) went into Philadelphia on Tuesday with a

12-game winning streak, one its captain had largely made possible

with an 18-game point streak in which he’d amassed 20 goals and 16


Crosby assisted on Evgeni Malkin’s second-period power-play goal

to match his personal-best streak at 19 games, but the duo didn’t

do enough to help the Penguins extend their run. Crosby set up

another Malkin goal early in the third, but Scott Hartnell’s tally

midway through the period gave the Flyers a 3-2 win.

“You never like losing and just because we won however many we

won doesn’t change that feeling, and I don’t think it ever will,”

Crosby said. “You go out there and you work hard and you have an

objective in mind to win a game and you don’t – so no, it’s not a

good feeling.

“Luckily for us we have a game (Wednesday) night, so we can look

to respond.”

Pittsburgh’s last loss prior to Tuesday came Nov. 15 against the

Rangers, a 3-2 overtime defeat and a rare instance where it failed

to earn two points versus New York. The Penguins have outscored the

Rangers 45-25 in going 9-0-2 in the series since Jan. 18, 2009,

including a 3-1 victory at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 29.

Crosby has racked up 10 goals and 11 assists in that stretch,

picking up a point in the past 10 meetings.

The two assists Tuesday gave Crosby 38 points during his current

point streak. He had 30 during his previous 19-game run, from Oct.

6-Nov. 17, 2007.

The Rangers (18-13-1) should be rested and ready, though, after

shutting down one of the league’s most dangerous attacks Sunday.

New York’s offense wasn’t bad, either, scoring four goals during a

nine-minute stretch in the second period of a 7-0 rout of


“I think from a team aspect everyone was going,” center Brian

Boyle told the Rangers’ official website. “Everyone contributed.

This was a fun one.”

New York should get a big emotional boost Wednesday. Captain

Chris Drury, who has missed all but one period this season with a

left index finger he’s broken twice, is expected to play for the

first time since Oct. 15.

“Getting Dru back on the ice and back for the games is huge for

us,” defenseman Marc Staal said. “He will help us in so many ways.

And we’re all very excited to have him back in the lineup.”

Drury is expected to skate on a line with Sean Avery and either

Todd White or Erik Christensen.

New York’s Henrik Lundqvist is 5-3-0 with a 1.50 goals-against

average and three shutouts in his last eight starts, but he’s been

dismal against the Penguins lately. He’s 2-7-1 with a 3.48 GAA

during the Rangers’ regulation winless streak in the series.