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Crosby, Penguins to face Rangers

Pittsburgh (14-6-3) at NY Rangers (17-8-2) 7:00 p.m. EST

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- If the New York Rangers hope to maintain a

lead over their Atlantic Division rivals, they will have to

figure out a way to stop Sidney Crosby.

Crosby will be looking to build on his second career hat trick

when the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Rangers on Wednesday.

The Penguins have gone 7-2-1 over their last 10 games, spurred

on by the tandem of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Crosby has

totaled six goals in the last three games and 12 points in the

last five to pull within five points of Malkin for the NHL

scoring lead.

Crosby's 11th, 12th and 13th goals of the season came in a 4-1

win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

Malkin, who has piled up an NHL-best 39 points in 23 games, has

eight points in the last three games and leads the league with

29 assists.

Not to be outdone on the goal-scoring end by his teammate,

Malkin posted a hat trick against the New York Islanders on

November 26.

The Rangers are currently five points ahead of Pittsburgh in the

Atlantic, thanks in part to an NHL-best 89.5 percent penalty

killing team.

Thanks to soild play from netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who leads

the NHL with 15 wins, they have not allowed more than one

power-play goal in a game since October 15 at Buffalo.

New York has won three of its last four but is coming off a 4-0

loss against Florida on Sunday. It marked one of Lundqvist's

few hiccups this season as he was pulled in the second period

after allowing three goals on 23 shots.


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