National Hockey League
Preview
Pittsburgh at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

Off to their worst start in 37 years, the New York Rangers will attempt to turn things around when they host the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions on Tuesday night. The Rangers have managed only two points through their first six games -- the fewest since the 1980-81 season -- as they brace for a visit from Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

New York opened a six-game homestand with a 3-2 loss to the neighboring New Jersey Devils on Saturday night and has produced four goals during a three-game losing streak. “Hopefully, this is rock bottom here,” captain Ryan McDonagh said after the latest setback. “I’ve never had a start like this in my career, so it’s tough mentally. By no means is this group going to quit.” Since they were pummeled at Chicago 10-1 in the second game of the season, Pittsburgh has won three of its last four, including Saturday's 4-3 victory over visiting Florida despite surrendering 46 shots on goal. “One of the cornerstone characteristics of our identity has to be becoming a team that’s more difficult to play against,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “It’s hard to score your way to a championship in this league.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVAS, AT&T SportsNet-Pittsburgh, MSG (New York)

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (3-2-1): Crosby halted a four-game goal-scoring drought by scoring twice against Florida, both coming on a pair of deflections. “I see him do it all the time,” Sullivan said. “He has such great hand-eye coordination. I think he’s the best in the game around the net, in close. A lot of it speaks to his skill level, but it’s also his determination. He’s in the battle areas all the time.” Pittsburgh has scored five power-play goals over the past three games but has also surrendered three in the past two contests.

ABOUT THE RANGERS (1-5-0): New York has scored 13 goals in its six games and netted more than two on one occasion, prompting coach Alain Vigneault so shuffle all his lines at Monday's practice, including adding Rick Nash to the top power-play unit. "I'm going to get the continuity once I get the results," Vigneault said per Newsday. "Two 5-on-5 goals in five (of the) games is not doing it." The reconfigured No. 1 line at Monday's practice featured Mika Zibanejad centering Mats Zuccarello and Nash, who call the slow start "a shock."

OVERTIME

1. Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist, who has allowed four goals in his last three starts, was 0-1-1 with a 4.34 GAA versus Pittsburgh last season.

2. Crosby had four goals and seven points in four matchups against Pittsburgh last season.

3. New York is seeking to avoid its first 1-6-0 start since the 1959-60 season.

PREDICTION: Rangers 3, Penguins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Pittsburgh 3-2-1-0 W1 2-0-1-0 1-2-0-0 0-0-0-0 3-2-1-0 1-0-0-0
NY Rangers 1-5-0-0 L3 1-3-0-0 0-2-0-0 0-0-0-0 1-5-0-0 0-2-0-0
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh NY Rangers
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/9/17 PIT 2 NYR 3 24 22 0-0 25 22 1-1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Pittsburgh N. Bonino 1
NY Rangers R. McDonagh 2
Goals Player  
Pittsburgh N. Bonino 1
NY Rangers R. McDonagh 1
Assists Player  
Pittsburgh P. Kessel 1
NY Rangers M. Zibanejad 2
Saves Player  
Pittsburgh T. Jarry 22
NY Rangers M. Hellberg 22
Season
Total Points Player  
Pittsburgh J. Guentzel 13
NY Rangers K. Shattenkirk 8
Goals Player  
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 4
NY Rangers M. Zibanejad 6
Assists Player  
Pittsburgh J. Guentzel 9
NY Rangers M. Zuccarello 7
Saves Player  
Pittsburgh M. Murray 187
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 199
Quickchart Matchup
Pittsburgh Off vs  NY Rangers Def
3.33 GF
3.5 GA
34.2 Shots
31 Shots
7 PP
6 PK
NY Rangers Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
2.17 GF
4.17 GA
33.5 Shots
34.3 Shots
5 PP
4 PK