Michael Del Zotto 1

Blueshirts Host Pens Tonight

The Rangers host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight – 7:00pm MSG and game day thread – a team they’re 1-4-0 against this season. The lone win was a 3-2 OT victory that the Rangers secured in Pittsburgh just before the Olympic break, to break a seven game losing streak overall, along with a six game streak in the Penguins building.

In that game, Brent Johnson was in net for the Penguins to start the game – he’d later leave with an injury – tonight it’ll be Marc-Andre Fleury back in goal. The Penguins will not insert the newly acquired Alex Ponikarovksy into the line-up however.

For the Rangers, it appears that Marian Gaborik will continue to sit out with a “lower body” injury, thought to be a groin strain suffered during the Olympics. Larry Brooks writes that Wednesday next week might be the earliest we could see him. Michael Del Zotto is expected to return to the line-up, having recovered from a skate cut he suffered in the last match-up with the Penguins.

The Rangers are 5-5-0 in their last ten games, and have won four of their last five, while the Penguins are 5-2-3, but are 2-1-3 in their last six, including the OT loss to the Rangers.

Yesterday’s trade deadline came and went without any major moves for the Rangers. Not through lack of trying, but Glen Sather couldn’t find any takers on the players he wanted to move, at least not for a price he could accept.’

The lack of changes doesn’t bother head coach John Tortorella, although comments before the deadline suggest that he may have been hoping for some additional help.

According to Brooks, the Rangers did inquire into the availability of Pavol Demitra, but never went very far in terms of negotiations. Sheldon Souray was also never seriously considered, though as mentioned in the rumor mill it appears the team did look into the possibility of acquiring fellow Oiler defender, Tom Gilbert.

Nathan Horton and David Booth of Florida were not available, and the unwillingness to trade young players meant there were few options available to Sather.

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