National Hockey League
Preview
Pittsburgh at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, April 24, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

After setting a franchise record in wins during the regular season, the New York Rangers need just one more to advance to the second round in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Presidents' Trophy-winning Rangers look to accomplish that feat and complete another early postseason exit for the Pittsburgh Penguins when the Metropolitan Division rivals meet at Madison Square Garden in Game 5 on Friday.

Although New York is enjoying the upper hand in the series, coach Alain Vigneault is keeping a keen eye on an opponent that knows all too well that a 3-1 lead can evaporate in short order. After all, the Rangers overcame that very deficit to derail the Penguins in the second round last year. "Pittsburgh has elite players and great balance up front, and a goalie who has won a Stanley Cup and proven he's one of the top guys in the league," Vigneault said. While all of that holds water, captain Sidney Crosby's two goals came in the Penguins' 4-3 win in Game 2, Evgeni Malkin has been plagued by an undisclosed injury and Marc-Andre Fleury has been undone by a lack of offensive support.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, ROOT (Pittsburgh), MSG (New York), RSN

ABOUT THE PENGUINS: Patric Hornqvist has scored in each of the last two contests for Pittsburgh, which dropped a 2-1 decision on Monday before falling by the same score two nights later following rookie Kevin Hayes' goal in overtime of Game 4. "Whether it's 2-1, 5-1, we've done a lot of good things," said Crosby, who will play in his 100th career postseason contest Friday. "Regardless of the score, it doesn't make it easy when you don't find a way to win. But I think it's encouraging that some of the things we've been doing have put us in pretty good positions to win a hockey game."

ABOUT THE RANGERS: While Fleury has been solid, Henrik Lundqvist has been just a notch better than his counterpart. The Swedish Olympian has yielded only seven tallies in four games, posting a 1.74 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. "It's a desperation moment for them, and the key is to match that," Lundqvist said. "You have to grab every opportunity you get to finish a series."

OVERTIME

1. New York D Kevin Klein, who has been sidelined by a broken arm since March 11, skated on Thursday and has a "50-50 chance to play" in Game 5, according to Vigneault.

2. Pittsburgh boasts a 10-4 all-time record at Madison Square Garden in the playoffs.

3. Rangers C Derick Brassard scored his team-leading third goal of the series on Wednesday.

PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Penguins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Pittsburgh 44-29-7-6 L2 23-15-3-2 21-14-4-4 3-6-0-1 41-23-7-5 10-19-3-2
NY Rangers 56-23-2-5 W2 26-12-1-4 30-11-1-1 6-3-1-0 50-20-1-5 26-7-0-1
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh NY Rangers
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/22/15 NYR 2 (OT) PIT 1 23 22 0-3 24 22 0-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Pittsburgh P. Hornqvist 1
NY Rangers D. Brassard 1
Goals Player  
Pittsburgh P. Hornqvist 1
NY Rangers D. Brassard 1
Assists Player  
Pittsburgh B. Lovejoy 1
NY Rangers C. Hagelin 1
Saves Player  
Pittsburgh M. Fleury 22
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 22
Season
Total Points Player  
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 87
NY Rangers R. Nash 74
Goals Player  
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 30
NY Rangers R. Nash 43
Assists Player  
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 57
NY Rangers D. Brassard 43
Saves Player  
Pittsburgh M. Fleury 1851
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 1380
Quickchart Matchup
Pittsburgh Off vs  NY Rangers Def
2.6 GF
2.26 GA
31.3 Shots
29.2 Shots
51 PP
39 PK
NY Rangers Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
2.99 GF
2.48 GA
31.3 Shots
29.2 Shots
41 PP
44 PK